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My mother-in-law recently died leaving a small estate to, presumably, my father-in-law. I say "presumably" because there is no will. The real estate, checking and savings accounts are in joint name. She owns approx. $200k in MO stock from a profit sharing plan. I believe my father-in-law is the beneficiary of the custodial account with the stock (Chgo. bank).

My questions are: (1) will this go through probate (Indiana), (2) will the stock be included under the marital exemption, and (3) will the stock be re-valued at today's market price.

Thanks, Bill
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<<My mother-in-law recently died leaving a small estate to, presumably, my father-in-law. I say "presumably" because there is no will. The real estate, checking and savings accounts are in joint name. She owns approx. $200k in MO stock from a profit sharing plan. I believe my father-in-law is the beneficiary of the custodial account with the stock (Chgo. bank).

My questions are: (1) will this go through probate (Indiana), (2) will the stock be included under the marital exemption, and (3) will the stock be re-valued at today's market price.>>

All assets in joint name pass to the survivor outside of probate. The stock should qualify for the marital exemption. I'm assuming from your description that the stock is held in a qualified profit sharing plan. If so, no "step-up" in basis benefit will exist, and taxes must be paid at ordinary income rates when your father in law withdraws money from the profit sharing account.
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<< My mother-in-law recently died leaving a small estate to, presumably, my father-in-law. I say "presumably" because there is no will. >>

Your tax questions have already been answered, so I'll just add a point about intestate deaths. State law determines the distribution of property that would have passed in accordance with the terms of a will. I'm told that it's a major nightmare in Kansas, but don't know anything about Indiana.

Verse 457 of "Have a Will, You Will Die Someday."

Phil Marti
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