“Information Bits from the Boss: Samantha provides brief answers to clients frequently asked questions”
What if my spouse passed away, is there anything I need to do?
A lot of times we’ll represent husband and wife and have helped them with their estate planning and one spouse will pass away. The surviving spouse often asks “Do I need to do anything?” The answer to that depends on a lot about how your assets are titled and what assets you have at death. If we have husband and wife and husband passes away, but husband had retirement, even if he named wife as the primary beneficiary wife is still required to file Pennsylvania inheritance tax return. Again, there’s no tax because it went to wife at husband’s death, but we do have to disclose it to Pennsylvania. If there are certain assets that were jointly owned or had a beneficiary designation, no probate needs to occur at death for those assets. If the house is jointly owned, the house is automatically going to be wife’s at husband’s death. The title vests in her and she becomes the 100% owner when husband dies. If husband was the only person who owned the real estate and the real estate was titled in only his name, then at his death the only way that the real estate can be transferred is through probate. If you have any questions, please contact our office to schedule an appointment.