Deathbed Estate and Tax Planning
When Death Is Imminent, Some Quick Moves Can Make a Great Deal of Sense.
Deathbed Income Tax Planning
Capital losses should be recognized via sale, as they will be lost upon death.
A conversion of a qualified plan or IRA to a Roth IRA should be considered to allow future tax-free accumulations for the beneficiaries.
Post-death medical bills and U.S. savings bond interest can often be added to the decedent’s final income tax return.
Deathbed Estate Planning
A guardian or conservator can petition the Probate Court to implement an estate plan for an incompetent person. (I once got one of these through Norfolk County Probate Court from start to finish in a mere 5 days.)
If the dying person ever received any type of MassHealth benefits from age 55 on, a post-death estate recovery creditor claim by MassHealth can be avoided if probate is avoided.
An imminent death creates a deadline to create a special needs trust to preserve the governmental benefits of a disabled person who is to inherit; to establish a bypass/credit shelter trust; to establish a generation-skipping trust for the benefit of a wealthy person who is to inherit; to make annual exclusion gifts; and to create valuation discounts by giving away small fractional shares on business and real estate interests.