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Author: TMFTaxes Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 121189  
Subject: Re: TMFTaxes on Cash Gift Date: 1/13/1999 7:10 PM
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[[ Roy, do you have any sense of what fraction of people try to do their estate
planning and similar stuff involving complicated tax issues, on the cheap?]]

FAR too many...

[[ I don't,
and this is maybe a softball question, but I suspect it may be more than there
ought to be.]]

Certainly more than there ought to be. It always cracks me up how somebody with a million dollar estate won't cut lose with a few thousand dollars to get the estate put together correctly. It just boggles my mind. And, to tell you the truth, I don't feel all that sorry for 'em...when they KNOW better, but decide to save a buck here and there.

[[ In my own family, a great-uncle of mine died in about 1972. He had a very small
estate, but he left small bequests in a will written on a standard form he got from
the local stationery store. The bequest to me, and similar ones to some of my
cousins, was held up because he did not specify that it should go to JABoa,
infant (I was not yet 21). In Ontario at the time minors could not inherit without
specific direction. I got it eventually, but this is not what Uncle Bill would have
wanted, I am sure.]]

I'm sure that you are right. Part of the problem is that it's not until the person has passed that the beneficiaries have to clean up the mess. And, generally, beneficiaries are already trying to deal with greif and loss...they don't need an attorney or accountant tellying them how much the "dear departed" screwed up, and how much it'll cost to fix it.

[[ In both cases, I think they said to themselves, Grrr, I don't want to pay some
damn lawyer all that money, and for what? I think the "for what" is making
happen what you want to have happen, and the amount you pay is a small
fraction of what you have at risk.]]

In my experience, you are correct about the sentiment. You are also correct about the result. Things are getting better, but not as good as I would like to see them. Education is the key.

TMF Taxes
Roy
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