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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 22, 2007 / 3 Shevat, 5767

Life after death: Get your wishes in writing

By Jan L. Warner & Jan Collins


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Q: My wife and I are in our late 60s and have about $500,000 in assets. We don't anticipate paying estate taxes. We have one married child who has two children, both in high school. Every asset we own, including our home, is titled jointly with right of survivorship so that if I die first, she gets it all, and if she dies first, I get it all. Our small life insurance policies and IRAs go to each other as beneficiary. Given our planning, is there any reason for us to go to the expense of getting wills drawn up?


A: Assuming, as you say, that all assets are jointly titled with right of survivorship at the death of the first of you, each of the assets titled in this fashion will pass to the survivor automatically. This means, at the first death, there will be no probate assets to go through the estate process. If, on the other hand, there are assets not titled in this fashion — like an automobile — there will be some red tape involved in getting title to that asset passed. While under these very limited circumstances a will may not be necessary for the first of you to die, the survivor will probably need a will to make sure that assets go where they are intended to go. For example, if the second of you dies without a will and your son is disabled or has died before you, there may be an unintended result.


Q: My husband and I have been married for 51 years, and he refuses to see a lawyer to get his will drawn up even though he owns everything. He says that I shouldn't worry because I get what he calls a "wife's share." We have five children. I have never worked outside the home. He has a house, some furniture, savings and a small retirement. What happens if he dies first and has no will?


A: If your husband dies before you and has no will, the law of the state where you live dictates who inherits the house and the savings and in what proportions, regardless of your husband's intent. This means that if your husband owns all of the assets and dies before you, you will be in the unenviable position of owning all assets jointly with your five children or, in some instances, your grandchildren. This means real expensive problems to solve, much more expensive than the cost of a will.


Although you should check the law of the state in which you live, the following is an example of what happens in one state if a person dies without a will: (1) If married with no children, everything goes to the surviving spouse; (2) If married with children, one-half goes to the surviving spouse and one-half is divided equally among the children; (3) If unmarried with children, all goes to the children equally; (4) If not married and no children, all goes to surviving parents, and if parents are not surviving, to brothers and sisters equally with the child or children of a deceased sibling taking the share a parent would have taken; (4) If not married, no children, and no surviving parents or siblings, the law of the state defines what next of kin will inherit.


Bottom line: You and your husband need wills. Q: My son and his wife have two children and are expecting their third. When we were talking, my son told me that he and his wife had not changed their wills since they were first married 12 years ago. I told them that if they did not get new wills prepared, their children would not get any inheritance and it would go to the state. Is this correct?


A: No. The "pretermitted heir" rule protects children who were born or adopted after a will is made. Unless the will specifically refers to the pending birth of the child, if your son or daughter-in-law dies without making a new will, the law presumes a child born after the will was inadvertently omitted and awards him or her an "intestate" (i.e., "having made no legal will") share of the estate. It is always wise to have new wills prepared after changes in life status such as the birth of children, marriage and divorce.


Q: I am a widow. If I will my property to my three adult children in equal shares, what happens if one of my children dies before me? Do his children get his share?


A: Unless your will provides to the contrary, anti-lapse laws will assure that if a beneficiary is related to you and dies before you do, the assets will be passed on to that beneficiary's heirs. If, however, the beneficiary who predeceases you is not closely related to you and your will does not provide otherwise, the assets will pass to the other beneficiaries or by intestacy. If is always wise to make sure your wishes are set forth in your will to avoid unintended results.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JAN L. WARNER received his A.B. and J.D. degrees from the University of South Carolina and earned a Master of Legal Letters (L.L.M.) in Taxation from the Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a frequent lecturer at legal education and public information programs throughout the United States. His articles have been published in national and state legal publications. Jan Collins began co-authoring Flying SoloŽ in 1989. She has more than 27 years of experience as a journalist, writer, and editor. To comment or ask a question, please click here.

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