We are picking up where we left off with our June 20 post. We were talking about what goes into the inventory and appraisal of a decedent's estate in California. The law does not require an inventory for every estate; the administration of a small estate, for example, does not include filing an inventory and appraisal with the court. When one is necessary, though, the responsibility falls to the personal representative.
Thanks to media coverage over the last few months, civil asset forfeiture is no longer an unknown term. Many Americans are now aware of this process by which government agencies are allowed to seize assets from an individual even if they are never charged with committing a crime.
We have discussed the role of the personal representative in probate proceedings in past posts ("Personal representative or executor? Either way, it's a tough job," for example). The specific duties may vary from estate to estate, determined by the size of the estate and the content of the testamentary documents, among other things. Some of the duties are relatively straightforward, others are more complicated and more time-consuming.
A rule change proposed by the IRS could make a weekend in Las Vegas a little less attractive for Bay Area gamblers. The IRS would like to lower a reporting threshold for certain winnings, and casino owners say it would take a large bite out of their bottom lines.
California's same-sex married couples have enjoyed the privileges and responsibilities of legal marriage for a couple of years. With the ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, the U.S. Supreme Court has now extended those rights to GLBT couples in every state. These couples will now have the often frustrating task of navigating state tax and probate laws as legal spouses. Yes, now the state and the federal government recognize the marriage, so filing the annual tax return will be a little easier, but estate and tax planning strategies will have to be reviewed and updated accordingly.
It isn't quite as common here in California, but on the East Coast, a person who lives in one state often works in a neighboring state. If both states have income taxes, does this commuter pay his resident state, his work state or both?
We are talking about the "jock tax" and its provenance. As we said in our last post, the jock tax is a nonresident tax on professional athletes' income. Fewer than half of all states, along with a handful of municipalities, impose the tax, according to the Tax Foundation, an independent nonprofit. Pro players, though, are beginning to object.
The San Francisco Giants will shell out more than $166 million for player salaries this year. The money is not exactly distributed equally. According to ESPN.go.com, the highest-paid player on the team is Hunter Pence, with an annual paycheck of $18.7 million. The lowest paid player, Matt Duffy, is earning $509,000. Both earn tidy sums, but it's hard not to wonder how much of that they actually take home.