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38 votes
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How close is the fate of Berkshire Hathaway tied to Warren Buffett?

No one can tell what will or will not be a good investment in the future. However -- Berkshire Hathaway's annual newsletter to shareholders has, for the past several years, discussed this. Warren ...
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32 votes
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Who does the money go to if "everyone" in a family dies?

TL;DR State keeps everything. What exactly happens largely depends on the particular state's probate laws. These laws are notoriously complicated and vary greatly between the states. In very rough ...
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14 votes
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Grandmother's MetLife policy showing up as unclaimed property

After a bit of searching, I found a Wall Street Journal article from 2012, “MetLife Settles Unclaimed Life-Benefit Probe”, and a follow-up article the same year “Michigan Joins Metlife Settlement ...
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  • 403
11 votes

Why would a life insurance exclude suicide for the first two years of policy duration only?

I believe that the insurance company wants to discourage people from making money by committing suicide. If the insurance company covered suicide for the whole term then a suicidal person with $10,000 ...
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  • 6,849
10 votes
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Bank account when owner dead

In the US, this is mostly governed by state law, with some federal oversight. (if your question pertains to a different country I will delete this answer) The estate owns the account upon the owner's ...
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9 votes

My sister borrowed money on a home thats not hers, how can I protect the home?

As others have said, this is largely a legal question. The first issue is, did your mother sign the loan documents, or give your sister a power of attorney? If not, the loan may be fraudulent. If ...
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9 votes
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What will happen to my wife's debt when she passes away?

Federal Student Loans Federal Student Loans are discharged with the borrower's death, regardless of who co-signed the loan. PLUS Loans (and Parent PLUS Loans) PLUS loans are discharged on the death ...
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  • 4,073
9 votes
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What will happen to this life insurance policy obtained just before a possibly terminal diagnosis?

You might want to have a family representative ask the doctors office, or hospital, to recommend a financial/legal planner that handles families where a person has a terminal disease. They can help ...
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8 votes

Death checklist

People have written books of these checklists. In addition to the information listed in other answers, they mention labeling the keys on your keyring and getting a list of all of the people you do ...
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7 votes
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Which retirement accounts can my spouse spend immediately if I die?

401(k) and 403(b) plans may have different rules, depending on the plan (read the plan documents for more details), but in general they can be inherited without tax penalties beyond regular income tax....
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7 votes

Death checklist

Checklist: Names of all financial accounts (brokerage, bank, money market, annuity) Insurance policies (car, home, business, private, military, medical, disability) Motor Vehicle Bureau Notification ...
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  • 73.9k
6 votes
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How does a reverse mortgage affect the owner's children, after death?

This page says that heirs have six months to clear the debt one way or the other. Heirs get an initial six months to deal with the loan payoff. And it's to their advantage to move as quickly as ...
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  • 3,943
6 votes
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What happens to your assets if there is no heir?

The short version is that the state government claims the estate when no relatives can be found and no will/estate plan exists. How the government uses that varies by state. From Legal Zoom: ...
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  • 64.6k
5 votes

Can an incomplete 401k hardship withdrawal be reversed due to death?

First, if the bank or admin for the 401(k) said it's too late to reverse, I'd take them at their word. As far as the check goes, it's not uncommon to have to deal with the last checks coming to a ...
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5 votes

Parents deceased but still owe for refinance loan

Heirs do not inherit debts, so no. You (or any other heirs) are not responsible for the mortgage. However, assets of an estate can be sold to cover the debts of the deceased. In this case, the bank ...
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  • 75k
5 votes

Why would a life insurance exclude suicide for the first two years of policy duration only?

As others have mentioned insurance is a highly regulated industry. There is a common rule called a contestability period, typically two years. Typically, if you pass within the contestability period ...
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  • 48.6k
5 votes

What will happen to this life insurance policy obtained just before a possibly terminal diagnosis?

As its too close to the time a policy was being taken, generally as per the terms one is required to declare such illnesses. This has a very high potential of getting the claim rejected on the grounds ...
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  • 56.6k
5 votes

What happens to your spouse's sole proprietorship if they die?

Since it's a sole proprietorship, all of the business's assets and liabilities will now be owned by the estate. The estate (in the person of the executor or executrix) then handles winding everything ...
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  • 49k
5 votes

How long do credit cards keep working after you disappear?

how can I keep my website running for posterity after I die? If this is the real problem, incorporate a non-profit corporation or have a lawyer set up a foundation. Those will survive after your ...
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  • 20.8k
5 votes
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Mistaken identity error (I am dead) - property tax issue

In FL, you get a letter every year from the property tax man, which lists your applied exemptions and taxes, and it also lists a deadline for any changes. From what you wrote, it looks like you ...
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  • 37.1k
5 votes

How do taxes work if one's spouse dies?

married jointly for that year and subsequently as "head of household" if you still have children to take care of but confirm from TAX professional.
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  • 3,397
5 votes

What happens to the insurance payout on home insurance if the policyholder dies when the home is destroyed?

If an insurance policy holder dies, the proceeds go to a second listed beneficiary, and if none are listed, to beneficiaries via will, or last, to the estate of the policy holder. With house insurance,...
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5 votes

Is property with a transfer-on-death deed on it part of "the estate"?

I strongly recommend that your parents not create a transfer-on-death deed without talking to a lawyer about the matter because there are financial and tax issues other than the size of the estate and ...
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4 votes

How long do credit cards keep working after you disappear?

Generally speaking the bank accounts and credit card accounts remain open. Banks and the credit card companies don't monitor public records on a daily basis. Instead, whoever is handling your estate ...
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4 votes
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sorting out pensions on death

I don't have any personal experience of actually claiming them, but in the UK lump sum pension benefits are normally paid direct by the pension company to the beneficiaries rather than going through ...
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4 votes

joint savings account requiring three signatures

That would not be automatic. If the Account requires ALL [or Survivors] for withdrawal, upon death of one of the Signatories, there would some paperwork [death certificate, etc] that needs to be ...
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4 votes
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Tax forms required for heirs who receive money from sale of an estate?

The answer is no for 1099s but yes for K-1. Here is an extract from IRS publication 559 for Survivors, Executors, and Administrators: The personal representative must file a separate Schedule K-1 (...
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  • 511
4 votes

Bank account when owner dead

In Canada, the Banking Act RSC 1991, c.46 regulates most banks (except for provincially-created credit unions and caisses populaires.) There are two sections that deal with unclaimed balances: s. 438 (...
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  • 141
4 votes
Accepted

Is it safe to list a mother's maiden name on a death certificate?

Marriage records are just as public as death records. So a death certificate is no more an exposure of personal information than a marriage certificate with your mother's maiden name. There are also ...
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