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My Husband's Estate question

Linda74

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My wonderful husband passed away two weeks ago after a short but valiant battle with cancer. He was 62. Since I currently receive a teaching pension, I cannot collect on his Social Security (weird rule in state of Ct. and perhaps some other states). I am in the process of gathering up all of the accounts, and beginning to file the necessary paperwork. Jim had several Roth IRA's and tax sheltered annuities. As his beneficiary, do you know if I can roll them over into my name? I am hoping I won't have to cash them in as I don't need the money now. Also, a bit morbid, but is there a chance funeral expenses can be claimed on Income Tax?? They were over $20,000. All of these little details do keep me busy. I always get the best advice on TUG. I am going to use an accountant when I have all of the statements, but a little advance information will be most appreciated. He always managed the finances and filed our income tax. I claim total ingnorance on these issues...I was the travel planner.
 

ricoba

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I don't know anything about the estate planning issues, but I do want to express my condolences for your loss.
 

pcgirl54

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Linda
I am so sorry for your loss and for all that comes with trying to sort it all out.

I recommend an elder law atty to guide you besides a good accountant so you will know what to do going forward.

In other words the things you need to know now that will effect you down the road.
 

vacationhopeful

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I am sure you are in a state of shock.

Sorry for your very recent and sudden loss
 

Cathyb

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Did he have an estate plan -- if so, then you should contact that attorney that has his records. They will handle the rest for you.
 

Twinkstarr

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Linda,

Sorry to hear about your loss. When my mother passed away, she left quite a few annuities that were divided between my sister and I. We had 5 yrs from date of death to withdraw the money, we let it sit until 18-24 months before the deadline to withdraw, to take advantage of growing tax free. Some of the companies had very easy paperwork to fill out to start the withdrawls, but I think it was John Hancock that wanted all sorts of info and forms filled out, just short of my sister and I providing DNA testing to prove we were my mother's children. :wall:

I paid for my mother's funeral and the estate paid me the money back. My mom's stuff was pretty complicated and we had a lawyer handle all of the details, plus our accountant and financial advisor where my mom's investments were involved.


I think funeral expenses are deductable on the estate tax return. I could dig out my mother's and take a peek if you would like?
 

Rose Pink

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My condolences to you, Linda. I cannot answer your questions but I am grateful you posted.
 

falmouth3

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Linda, I'm very sorry to hear of your loss.

I think the advice to see an attorney specializing in this legal area is the right way to go.

Sue
 

charford

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Hello Linda

My dh passed away 3 years ago, also from cancer. Hugs to you.

Spousal beneficiary rules are different than other beneficiary rules. The IRAs can be rolled over directly into your name. They become just like any other IRAs you may have.

Social security provides for a small one time payment for a spouse's death. As far as I know, funeral expenses are not tax deductible.

One thing you will want to do is to get an assessed value of your primary residence. That value becomes the new cost basis for the home. When you eventually sell your home, that new value will determine whether you owe capital gains tax or not. You will have an exemption of the assessed value +250K.
 

Passepartout

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Linda, We have followed you and your husband's ordeal since you mentioned it to the group when he was first diagnosed. Please accept our heartfelt sympathy.

Charford provides good information. Hopefully your husband had a will. You should go to the attorney who drew it up for advice on the next steps to take. The attorney can also advise you what steps to take to put the title of your home in your name only as sole owner. Along with the appraisal, you should contact all Jim's brokers for a valuation of any securities he owned as the cost basis to you is also valued at the date of his passing.

I also doubt that funeral expenses are deductible, but the funeral home should have told you one way or the other. However I can understand why they wouldn't.

Try to find a way to keep traveling, and take a course on money management.

Jim Ricks
 

Linda74

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Thank you everyone. Yes, we have a will and our attorney is a friend of ours. Also, my son has an MBA in finance and is quite well versed in all of this. I was just thinking that perhaps one of my tug friends had been able to easily roll over the accounts as that is what would be best for me.....I do have a stack of statements and plan to call the fund advisers tomorrow. You know how these guys are...they always want to move you into something that earns them a commission. In addition, I would like to consolidate some investments as we have a number of companies we deal with. I will figure it all out and certainly seek professional help. I thank you for your condolences. In July, we were pinching ourselves because life was so good. And now it isn't......I do have wonderful memories. And I will continue to travel....again, when I feel ready.
 

swift

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Linda, I am so sorry for your loss. I don't have any advice for you but I wish you the best as you sort through all of this.
 
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Nancy

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Sympathy

Linda,

Please accept my sympathy in your loss.

Nancy
 

Diane

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Sorry to hear about your loss. I lost my husband seven months ago and found that I was able to roll his IRAs into mine with no problem at all. I went to my local IRS office for advice, in person, not on the phone. They were extremely helpful. I had the choice of cashing out his IRAs but, like you, I did not want to do that.

As to deduction of funeral expenses, my understanding is that in the event that you have to file an estate tax return (meaning your husband left assets worth over $2 million -- and there are substantial deductions from the $2 million, for example, anything left to a spouse does not count toward the $2 million), that you can deduct the funeral and other final expenses. You have a choice as to his medical expenses -- deduct from the estate tax return, if one is requried, or from the income tax return. I was told to do it from the return that had the higher tax rate to get the maxiumum benefit. In most cases that would be the estate tax return.

I was told I could file a joint income tax return for 2008, which I plan to do. I don't know whether any deduction is allowed there for funeral and other final expenses. Have not gotten that far.

Please do not take this as legal advice, simply what my experience has been in my circumstances. My best wishes to you.

Diane
 

Kay H

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Linda,
So sorry for your loss. I have been praying for you and your hubby since you posted that he was very ill. I wish you the best in the future. I'm sure things will work out for you. God bless.
 

MelBay

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Both my parents died within the past 13 months, and I am pretty certain you can't deduct funeral expenses. Believe me, the guy my dad used to do his taxes would have taken that deduction if he could have. :)

I googled "ira rollover rules death spouse" and got lots and lots of stuff, some of which isn't applicable. Looks to me like you just need to be sure YOU never actually take possession of the money, or all kinds of tax implications will come into play. It has to pass from trustee to trustee:

Benefits link

I am only a lowly paralegal, and not an attorney, and this is NOT legal advice, so please seek real legal counsel who know what they are talking about.

And, may I express my sympathies. After loosing both parents in 10 months, and then having my own husband diagnosed with cancer, I can only imagine what you are trying to deal with at this time. Be nice to yourself.
 

Pat H

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Linda, I am so sorry about your husband. You have my deepest sympathy.
 

3kids4me

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Linda,

I am so sorry for your loss. I'm glad you were able to make some beautiful memories and that your husband was there for your daughter's wedding. Life is too short.

Sharon
 

Conan

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Since I currently receive a teaching pension, I cannot collect on his Social Security (weird rule in state of Ct. and perhaps some other states).

Linda

Here's a link to a FAQ that says the so-called Windfall Elimination Provision does not apply for persons who have 30 or more years of coverage under Social Security, and that those with 21 to 29 years of coverage are eligible for a partial exemption.
http://www.nea.org/home/16819.htm
Your teachers union representative should be able to determine whether you can benefit from the exception.
 

Linda74

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Thank you so much for that link. I have a telephone interview with Social Security next week. Over his lifetime he paid in a handsome some and it would be nice to get something for it......I will contact the CEA representative.
 

Jestjoan

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I am so very sorry to hear your sad news. My sincere sympathy.

I am happy that you can get help from this wonderful forum community/family.
 

bass

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Linda,

So sorry to hear of the passing of your husband. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Sincerely,
Nancy
 

mas

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Linda:

It sounds like you have access to good advice and relatives that can step in and help. I lost both my parents within a year of each other in the last couple of years. I was administrator on their accounts so I can sympathize with your situation. My condolences on your loss.
 
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