- Live in a state with no estate tax. My parents' state has no estate tax which reduced the complexity of their estate by one level. The value of their estate was below the federal threshold of $5 million. So no estate tax return was needed at the federal or state level.
- Trust complications. My assumption that assets in a revocable or family trust would be easier to transfer was not correct. In most cases, it had the same level of difficulty. In a few cases, assets in a trust were more difficult to transfer since court certification were required, or some financial institutions would not medallion guarantee signatures, even though I was a long time customer.
- Over diversification. Having multiple financial institution may be beneficial when alive, but significantly increases the work after death. For example, each dividend reinvestment program, each mutual fund, each brokerage and each bank all require separate forms, with different requirement to transfer assets. Number of forms = number of decedents X number of companies X number of heirs.
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This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.
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