SMITTY wrote:No family to leave this to, so I'll be damned if the state gets a free ride
Something I just learned a couple of weeks ago..... if you have less than 5 million (although that may change to 1 mill on Jan 1st) and you die with a will, all your stuff goes to whoever you say. If you do not have a will, then the state takes approaching 50%, and anyone that comes forward & claims they deserve a piece gets the rest.
Also....I always thought if a married spouse died the surviving spouse automatically got everything. This is only true if those things are owned jointly. That is, both names on any bank account, both names on any vehicle registration, both names on any real estate. If you are married and have separate bank accounts with only one name on an account, then the state will take their 50ish%, any blood relatives will get there percentage, then the surviving spouse get's what's left. Here's a scenario: A husband has a wife and 3 kids. He has a million bucks in an account with just his name on it. He dies thinking his wife will get a million bucks. But, because her name was not on the account, the state get's half, and what's left gets split 25% each way to the wife and each kid. Suddenly instead of the widow getting a million bucks, she gets $125,000.
My Dad taught me to always make sure everything is in both names.... Marty & I have always done that, but I never knew how bad it could be if we didn't! The lesson is: It's your spouse, trust them! If you have any possessions that are not joint, change it, and do it today.