5/25/2017

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What Is An Inheritance?

An inheritance is the succession of real or personal property, such as money, real estate, personal property, or other possessions that are given to another as a show of affection, or for other reasons as determined by the deceased.

Inheritances are usually given after death, through a living trust or will. If there is no will or living trust, the distribution of the estate is determined by the statutes of the deceased's' state of residency.

An inheritance can be given before death, as a gift. Some people want to see their possessions divided and enjoyed by their heirs while they are alive, and they take joy in giving and seeing the reactions to the gifts.

If there is money or other assets left after funeral expenses and other bills, we try to leave them as best we can for our loved ones with the hope that what is left is enough to be appreciated.

If there is no written will or trust, the closest relative, or next of kin, is usually made the recipient of the deceased's' assets, unless other intentions of the deceased can be proven in a court of law.

The state in which real estate is located makes the determination as to the disposition of homes, rental property, vacant lots, farms, ranches, and/or other real estate holdings.

However, if there is personal property in the estate, the state in which the deceased lived at the time of death will usually determine who gets the inheritance.

When there is no surviving spouse or children, the assets are awarded to the next degree of relationship, which may be brothers or sisters. If there are no siblings, the court may declare nieces, nephews, or cousins as heirs.

If there are no relatives found, and the property is not distributed by will or living trust to other parties, such as a charity or other organization, the property goes (escheats) to the state, and the state disposes of it as is regulated by law.

Inheritances are taxed subject to federal and state tax laws.

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