Tax Guy: Didn’t win the Mega Millions jackpot? You still need an estate plan — here’s what to do

by | Aug 11, 2022 | Stock Market

Whoever won that ginormous Mega Millions $1.337 billion jackpot needs some serious estate planning advice.  Sadly, you were not the winner, and neither was I. Even so, I need an estate plan, and you probably do too. Here’s why.

Don’t fixate on the whopping big federal estate tax exemption The vast majority of folks are not currently exposed to the federal estate tax, thanks to today’s ultra-generous $12.06 million exemption for singles — or effectively $24.12 million for married couples. That’s good, but being exempt from the federal estate tax is not the end of the story. If you have minor children and some assets (maybe just a car or two and some nice furniture), you probably need an estate plan regardless of your exposure, if any, to the federal estate tax.Epic celebrity fails  Even some famous rich folks inexplicably pass away without having taken steps to express and fulfill their post-demise wishes. Strange but true. According to reports, Aretha Franklin (estimated net worth $80 million) died without a will, even though she was in poor health and had a special-needs son. Prince (estimated net worth $200 million) also died without a will. Ditto for author Stieg Larsson, who wrote “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” Tupac Shakur, Amy Winehouse, and Sonny Bono — remember him?  But back to the real world.   Celebrity or not, you probabl …

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