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When a Loved One Passes Away

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© The Stelter Company The information in this publication is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in examples are for hypothetical purposes only and are subject to change. References to estate and income taxes include federal taxes only. State income/estate taxes or state law may impact your results. Michael J. Degenhart Assistant Vice President Office of Gift Planning The Pennsylvania State University 212 103 Building University Park, PA 16802 888-800-9170 giftplanning@psu.edu We Are Here for You If we can be of any help to you or your advisors during this time, please don't hesitate to contact us. We want to help in any way we can. tenancy with rights of survivorship automatically passes, by operation of law, to the surviving owner(s) when one owner dies. Assets with beneficiary designations, such as life insurance, 401(k) plans, IRAs, and other contract related assets, automatically pass to the named beneficiaries upon the owner's death. 10 ] How do I request proceeds for life insurance, 401(k) plans, IRAs, and other contract-related assets? The plan administrator for these assets or accounts typically requires a certified death certificate and a fully executed claim form. Contact the plan administrator for the paperwork required to claim the proceeds or to discuss your options. 11 ] What if my loved one had a lot of debt? If the estate has no money or assets to satisfy the debt, it is canceled. If the estate has assets, they must be used to satisfy any debts before the assets are distributed according to the will or intestate succession statutes. If there is not enough cash to satisfy the debt, property may need to be sold. Once all the debts are satisfied, the remaining assets will be distributed to the beneficiaries named in the will or heirs by law. 12 ] How much does it cost to probate an estate? The cost and duration of probate can vary substantially depending on a number of factors such as the value and complexity of the estate, the existence of a will, and the location of property owned by the estate. Your attorney will discuss the costs involved for your situation. And remember, while the probate process can be daunting and complicated by the emotions that come with the loss of a loved one, your estate planning attorney is mindful of these challenges and can assist you accordingly.

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