Author Topic: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.  (Read 1002395 times)

iris lily

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2500 on: April 02, 2021, 06:39:03 AM »
I'm sorry you're having to live through this weirdness. Of course, economic benefit and relational benefit are different.

I am not blessed with a big family, but I'd hope the estate planning could be designed toward the goal of keeping the family relationships intact rather as a priority ahead of keeping assets intact.
It's really a matter of game theory, and maybe even a Prisoner's Dilemma.  If everyone goes along, they all end up happy (ish).  But one person can get greedy, and in the process ruin it for everyone, including themselves.

I dont know that I would  call the challenging sibling in this family drama ďgreedy.Ē That sib  is demanding dead dad  give equal economic treatment to all siblings.  Is that greedy?

But yeah, this outlier sibling is paying a lot for an attorney, so yeah, is losing ground there.

If you are gifted $10k but are not happy about it bc the person next to you is gifted $15k, and you decide to pursue legal action to ensure that you both get the same amount, is that greedy on your part? Yes!

Expecting anything from an estate is greedy, because you didn't earn that money. In this case dad earned the money/items/whatever and is free to give them out however he pleases.

Actually, it is dependent on the legal system if a father is allowed to do what he wants with money after death. Here, half of your estate goes to your children and have to be divided in equal slots. That is if you are not married to your childrens mother because in that case she inherits all and the kids gets their part after she is dead. The other half you can do what you want with. So if you want to decide what to do with your money, spend it before your death. Oh, and you canít gift it before your immediate death to your favourite kid because then he/she has to return it to the estate.

Where is ďhere?Ē

Plina

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2501 on: April 03, 2021, 05:28:22 AM »
I'm sorry you're having to live through this weirdness. Of course, economic benefit and relational benefit are different.

I am not blessed with a big family, but I'd hope the estate planning could be designed toward the goal of keeping the family relationships intact rather as a priority ahead of keeping assets intact.
It's really a matter of game theory, and maybe even a Prisoner's Dilemma.  If everyone goes along, they all end up happy (ish).  But one person can get greedy, and in the process ruin it for everyone, including themselves.

I dont know that I would  call the challenging sibling in this family drama ďgreedy.Ē That sib  is demanding dead dad  give equal economic treatment to all siblings.  Is that greedy?

But yeah, this outlier sibling is paying a lot for an attorney, so yeah, is losing ground there.

If you are gifted $10k but are not happy about it bc the person next to you is gifted $15k, and you decide to pursue legal action to ensure that you both get the same amount, is that greedy on your part? Yes!

Expecting anything from an estate is greedy, because you didn't earn that money. In this case dad earned the money/items/whatever and is free to give them out however he pleases.

Actually, it is dependent on the legal system if a father is allowed to do what he wants with money after death. Here, half of your estate goes to your children and have to be divided in equal slots. That is if you are not married to your childrens mother because in that case she inherits all and the kids gets their part after she is dead. The other half you can do what you want with. So if you want to decide what to do with your money, spend it before your death. Oh, and you canít gift it before your immediate death to your favourite kid because then he/she has to return it to the estate.

Where is ďhere?Ē

Here is Sweden. In Finland, you have to fulfill certain provisions to disinherit your children. So getting pissed of at your kids is not enough for them to loose their inheritance.

gaja

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2502 on: April 03, 2021, 11:17:23 AM »
I'm sorry you're having to live through this weirdness. Of course, economic benefit and relational benefit are different.

I am not blessed with a big family, but I'd hope the estate planning could be designed toward the goal of keeping the family relationships intact rather as a priority ahead of keeping assets intact.
It's really a matter of game theory, and maybe even a Prisoner's Dilemma.  If everyone goes along, they all end up happy (ish).  But one person can get greedy, and in the process ruin it for everyone, including themselves.

I dont know that I would  call the challenging sibling in this family drama ďgreedy.Ē That sib  is demanding dead dad  give equal economic treatment to all siblings.  Is that greedy?

But yeah, this outlier sibling is paying a lot for an attorney, so yeah, is losing ground there.

If you are gifted $10k but are not happy about it bc the person next to you is gifted $15k, and you decide to pursue legal action to ensure that you both get the same amount, is that greedy on your part? Yes!

Expecting anything from an estate is greedy, because you didn't earn that money. In this case dad earned the money/items/whatever and is free to give them out however he pleases.

Actually, it is dependent on the legal system if a father is allowed to do what he wants with money after death. Here, half of your estate goes to your children and have to be divided in equal slots. That is if you are not married to your childrens mother because in that case she inherits all and the kids gets their part after she is dead. The other half you can do what you want with. So if you want to decide what to do with your money, spend it before your death. Oh, and you canít gift it before your immediate death to your favourite kid because then he/she has to return it to the estate.

Where is ďhere?Ē

Here is Sweden. In Finland, you have to fulfill certain provisions to disinherit your children. So getting pissed of at your kids is not enough for them to loose their inheritance.

In Norway, there is a "duty inheritance" of $150 000 for the spouse and each kid (roughly speaking, with some caveats). If there is money left over after that, you can do with it as you please.

racquetcat

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2503 on: April 05, 2021, 07:47:25 AM »
Hej, hej @Plina !

I spent a semester in Sweden during college and I absolutely loved the culture, landscape, and pizza with kebab on it!

I especially loved the culture of lagom and the freedom to access land, both are things I wish we had more of in the US. I really wish I had tried to find a job in Sweden after I graduated from University, but oh well.

Anyway, do you expect Swedish inheritance laws are set up that way since a lot of people have long term domestic partnerships and kids without ever getting officially married?

lemanfan

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2504 on: April 05, 2021, 10:44:26 AM »
Anyway, do you expect Swedish inheritance laws are set up that way since a lot of people have long term domestic partnerships and kids without ever getting officially married?

Another swede here filling in, although not a lawyer:

People in Sweden who live like that - not formally married but living like they were - are sometimes doing it without knowing the consequences.  The author Stieg Larsson ("The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and many others) and his partner did that... so that even that they had lived like they were married for over 30 years, his brothers ended up with the rights to the very big estate instead of his life partner.

I have friends who have stayed "not married" but instead written a legal contract to regulate as much as possible as they want it, as they feel it was easier to get it "right" according to their wishes than getting the default situation that a marriage would give.   This kind of contract, "samboavtal", is often encouraged by advisors for those who are not married if they have a joint home or kids together.

Edit to add:  Much of that contract stuff I mentioned is for separation ("divorce"), not inheritance.  Then you of course also need to look into the wills and inheritance laws.  And at least one couple in my circle of friends got married after the Stieg Larson debacle.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2021, 11:09:58 AM by lemanfan »

AMandM

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2505 on: April 05, 2021, 07:56:46 PM »
Fascinating.  I wonder whether Swedes make different decisions about supporting their children financially than people do who live in places where you can leave different amounts to different children.

Did that happen to Larsen's estate because he didn't have a will? Or did he have a will naming his partner but that will was illegal under Swedish law?

Does any Swede have any leeway in how to leave money? What happens if I have no husband, no children, no siblings, and my parents are both dead?


Plina

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2506 on: April 05, 2021, 11:18:24 PM »
Hej, hej @Plina !

I spent a semester in Sweden during college and I absolutely loved the culture, landscape, and pizza with kebab on it!

I especially loved the culture of lagom and the freedom to access land, both are things I wish we had more of in the US. I really wish I had tried to find a job in Sweden after I graduated from University, but oh well.

Anyway, do you expect Swedish inheritance laws are set up that way since a lot of people have long term domestic partnerships and kids without ever getting officially married?

It seems to be a way to protect the inheritance of the family and going back to the 13 th century. The right of children to inherit seems to have been subject to some changes during the years. In 1848 both male and female children got the equal right to inherit. In 1917 the children born out of wedlock got the right to inherit their mothers and 1969 for fathers due to the blood relations. The current system is a mix of the right of the children to their inheritance and the protection of the spouse. There was an investigation in the beginning of the 80ies if to allow a free choice regarding the inheritance as most people donít have a need of an inheritance  today but it was seen as a way to create fairness among all children of the deceased. There was a fear that the children in previous relationsships would be left out. I didnít actually know this before but it seems to not have anything to do with our domestic partnerships.

Actually you can leave different amount to your children, it is only half of your estate that have to be equally distributed among all your children. If you have given large gifts to one of your children it can be accounted towards the inheritance. Maybe, it is just me but I donít know anyone that support their adult children. The father of a friend gave a monthly stipend to both of his children as a way to distribute the inheritance before his death but neither of them needed it for their living.

If you donít have children and a spouse, your parents inherit. If they are dead your siblings inherit and in case they are dead their children. Thereafter, you have to have a will if you donít want the money to go to the state owned public estate trust. The trust donates money to different causes. But if you donít have kids or a spouse you can do what you want with your money. I donít have neither and I have currently chosen to not have a will. That will change the day my parents are gone.

It happened because Stieg Larsen didnít have a will. He could have named his partner and she would have inherited everything. The law is made to protect your children and married spouse, not the rest of the relatives.

lemanfan

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2507 on: April 06, 2021, 01:45:12 AM »
Fascinating.  I wonder whether Swedes make different decisions about supporting their children financially than people do who live in places where you can leave different amounts to different children.

That is a really good question.  And my answer is that I don't really know, for possibly two reasons.

The first is that altough Sweden is a very open society (Example: anyone can make an anonymous call to the tax office and find out the personal ID-number (SSN equivalent) and the taxed income of anyone else), many people simply don't talk about money.  Not in the workplace and not among friends.  You might say how much you paid for your car or your house, but you don't talk about income or wealth.

The second reason I think is that due to structural differences, many people simply don't have a very big estate.  Even the top earners make less money than in the USA, and we're taxed higher.  Many people also live quite long, spending their money as time passes and few people get a life-changing windfall upon the death of a relative.  Inheritance is therefore not really a widespread way to support your kids.

I'm closing in on 50 years of age, meaning that my parents, and the parents of most of my friends are still alive in their 70-ies. I've yet to hear of any big disputes about inheritance among my friends or acquaintances.  As the results of the real estate boom in the last few years, I'm sure I will hear of someone with a house worth millions (in SEK, not necessarily in USD) which will create a conflict, but nothing yet in my surroundings.

Up until 2004 Sweden had taxes on inheritance and gifts above a certain threshold and that created some work regarding wills and estates, but the main focus I saw was more often to create a situation where the children or other recipients would not have to sell the land, company or other holding that was passed down in order to pay these taxes. 

One of my grandfathers had a small plot of forest (70 hectares, 150 acres) and back in the 1980-ies he made a plan that took over a decade to execute in order to gift this plot to his four kids without a too high tax burden.  The removal of the gift- and estate taxes made this kind of planning redundant.

Edit: I see that I use "inheritance tax" as a synonym for "estate tax".  Sorry for any confusion, I'm not sure they mean the same thing in the US. :)
« Last Edit: April 06, 2021, 01:50:39 AM by lemanfan »

merula

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2508 on: April 06, 2021, 08:08:00 AM »
Edit: I see that I use "inheritance tax" as a synonym for "estate tax".  Sorry for any confusion, I'm not sure they mean the same thing in the US. :)

They do mean the same thing here. :)

As someone who lives in a place heavily settled by Swedish immigrants, I'm always fascinated by random stuff that seems to originate from the Old Country. The US on the whole is a "talk about money" place, if not directly then indirectly, but Minnesota is not AT ALL.

Imma

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2509 on: April 06, 2021, 09:39:30 AM »
Hej, hej @Plina !

I spent a semester in Sweden during college and I absolutely loved the culture, landscape, and pizza with kebab on it!

I especially loved the culture of lagom and the freedom to access land, both are things I wish we had more of in the US. I really wish I had tried to find a job in Sweden after I graduated from University, but oh well.

Anyway, do you expect Swedish inheritance laws are set up that way since a lot of people have long term domestic partnerships and kids without ever getting officially married?

It seems to be a way to protect the inheritance of the family and going back to the 13 th century. The right of children to inherit seems to have been subject to some changes during the years. In 1848 both male and female children got the equal right to inherit. In 1917 the children born out of wedlock got the right to inherit their mothers and 1969 for fathers due to the blood relations. The current system is a mix of the right of the children to their inheritance and the protection of the spouse. There was an investigation in the beginning of the 80ies if to allow a free choice regarding the inheritance as most people donít have a need of an inheritance  today but it was seen as a way to create fairness among all children of the deceased. There was a fear that the children in previous relationsships would be left out. I didnít actually know this before but it seems to not have anything to do with our domestic partnerships.

Actually you can leave different amount to your children, it is only half of your estate that have to be equally distributed among all your children. If you have given large gifts to one of your children it can be accounted towards the inheritance. Maybe, it is just me but I donít know anyone that support their adult children. The father of a friend gave a monthly stipend to both of his children as a way to distribute the inheritance before his death but neither of them needed it for their living.

If you donít have children and a spouse, your parents inherit. If they are dead your siblings inherit and in case they are dead their children. Thereafter, you have to have a will if you donít want the money to go to the state owned public estate trust. The trust donates money to different causes. But if you donít have kids or a spouse you can do what you want with your money. I donít have neither and I have currently chosen to not have a will. That will change the day my parents are gone.

It happened because Stieg Larsen didnít have a will. He could have named his partner and she would have inherited everything. The law is made to protect your children and married spouse, not the rest of the relatives.

I think it's pretty common across Europe that it's mandatory to leave money to your kids or you have to leave equal amounts etc. An inheritance is historically seen as a birthright, and would usually consist of (a share in) a farm or farmland or maybe a townhouse - and of course, lots of people never left inheritances at all. Those rules were designed for the wealthy. In some juridictions I think you can disinherit your children but if you fight that decision, a judge will decide if the reason you did that was 'good enough'.

In my country, if you do not leave a will, your children will inherit equal parts in your inheritance. You can change that in your will, but your child is always entitled to half of what they would have inherited if you did not leave a will (their "legitimate portion" or "child's share") but they can only inherit money, not goods. So you can make sure one child inherits valuable goods like an art collection, the other child is only entitled to a portion of the value but cannot claim the paintings itself.

Plina

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2510 on: April 06, 2021, 11:30:02 AM »
Fascinating.  I wonder whether Swedes make different decisions about supporting their children financially than people do who live in places where you can leave different amounts to different children.

That is a really good question.  And my answer is that I don't really know, for possibly two reasons.

The first is that altough Sweden is a very open society (Example: anyone can make an anonymous call to the tax office and find out the personal ID-number (SSN equivalent) and the taxed income of anyone else), many people simply don't talk about money.  Not in the workplace and not among friends.  You might say how much you paid for your car or your house, but you don't talk about income or wealth.

The second reason I think is that due to structural differences, many people simply don't have a very big estate.  Even the top earners make less money than in the USA, and we're taxed higher.  Many people also live quite long, spending their money as time passes and few people get a life-changing windfall upon the death of a relative.  Inheritance is therefore not really a widespread way to support your kids.



In government workplaces the salaries are open info so everybody knows how much your colleagues earn. I have always had a pretty good view of how much my colleagues earn even when in private companies and I have no problem telling someone how much I earn. My boss told me what my colleagues earn when we talked about my salary. I actually knew it beforehand because I had looked it up so I knew I would end up ok.

We are also pretty open about salaries  in the family and my parent have a pretty good picture about my financial situation even if they donít know the actual numbers. I have known my parents financial situation since I was a kid. I also talk about finances with friends so salaries are no secret although the wealth numbers are. I guess it depends a lot on how open you are about your salaries and financial situation on how much info you get.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2511 on: April 06, 2021, 02:44:25 PM »
Hej, hej @Plina !

I spent a semester in Sweden during college and I absolutely loved the culture, landscape, and pizza with kebab on it!

I especially loved the culture of lagom and the freedom to access land, both are things I wish we had more of in the US. I really wish I had tried to find a job in Sweden after I graduated from University, but oh well.

Anyway, do you expect Swedish inheritance laws are set up that way since a lot of people have long term domestic partnerships and kids without ever getting officially married?

It seems to be a way to protect the inheritance of the family and going back to the 13 th century. The right of children to inherit seems to have been subject to some changes during the years. In 1848 both male and female children got the equal right to inherit. In 1917 the children born out of wedlock got the right to inherit their mothers and 1969 for fathers due to the blood relations. The current system is a mix of the right of the children to their inheritance and the protection of the spouse. There was an investigation in the beginning of the 80ies if to allow a free choice regarding the inheritance as most people donít have a need of an inheritance  today but it was seen as a way to create fairness among all children of the deceased. There was a fear that the children in previous relationsships would be left out. I didnít actually know this before but it seems to not have anything to do with our domestic partnerships.

Actually you can leave different amount to your children, it is only half of your estate that have to be equally distributed among all your children. If you have given large gifts to one of your children it can be accounted towards the inheritance. Maybe, it is just me but I donít know anyone that support their adult children. The father of a friend gave a monthly stipend to both of his children as a way to distribute the inheritance before his death but neither of them needed it for their living.

If you donít have children and a spouse, your parents inherit. If they are dead your siblings inherit and in case they are dead their children. Thereafter, you have to have a will if you donít want the money to go to the state owned public estate trust. The trust donates money to different causes. But if you donít have kids or a spouse you can do what you want with your money. I donít have neither and I have currently chosen to not have a will. That will change the day my parents are gone.

It happened because Stieg Larsen didnít have a will. He could have named his partner and she would have inherited everything. The law is made to protect your children and married spouse, not the rest of the relatives.

I think it's pretty common across Europe that it's mandatory to leave money to your kids or you have to leave equal amounts etc. An inheritance is historically seen as a birthright, and would usually consist of (a share in) a farm or farmland or maybe a townhouse - and of course, lots of people never left inheritances at all. Those rules were designed for the wealthy. In some juridictions I think you can disinherit your children but if you fight that decision, a judge will decide if the reason you did that was 'good enough'.

In my country, if you do not leave a will, your children will inherit equal parts in your inheritance. You can change that in your will, but your child is always entitled to half of what they would have inherited if you did not leave a will (their "legitimate portion" or "child's share") but they can only inherit money, not goods. So you can make sure one child inherits valuable goods like an art collection, the other child is only entitled to a portion of the value but cannot claim the paintings itself.

It's the same here in Italy so I guess this is a European thing. It can lead to some terrible outcomes.  The worst story I heard was many years ago when i first moved here and taught English on the side to make some money. One of my students was a very wealthy, old Italian man who actually spoke great English (which he learned by reading the Economist) but just wanted to chat for practice.  He was a semi-closeted gay man with a long term partner that not everyone knew about.  Anyway, his long lost daughter had come out of the woodwork a few years before we met.  At first, he was delighted. Apparently he had had a girlfriend during his university days and she had become pregnant without his knowledge.  When he met his daughter he spent a lot of time with her, they did DNA tests to confirm paternity and he acknowledged paternity legally.  As soon as he did this, she disappeared.  He was absolutely heartbroken as it was clear that she'd only sought out her father in order to get him to acknowledge paternity and inherit his entire (very sizable) estate when he died.  The saddest thing is that gay marriage didn't exist here in Italy (still doesn't) so his long term partner would have no rights to his estate whereas his rotten daughter would.  There was absolutely nothing he could do about this.

Dicey

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2512 on: April 06, 2021, 02:50:42 PM »
It's the same here in Italy so I guess this is a European thing. It can lead to some terrible outcomes.  The worst story I heard was many years ago when i first moved here and taught English on the side to make some money. One of my students was a very wealthy, old Italian man who actually spoke great English (which he learned by reading the Economist) but just wanted to chat for practice.  He was a semi-closeted gay man with a long term partner that not everyone knew about.  Anyway, his long lost daughter had come out of the woodwork a few years before we met.  At first, he was delighted. Apparently he had had a girlfriend during his university days and she had become pregnant without his knowledge.  When he met his daughter he spent a lot of time with her, they did DNA tests to confirm paternity and he acknowledged paternity legally.  As soon as he did this, she disappeared.  He was absolutely heartbroken as it was clear that she'd only sought out her father in order to get him to acknowledge paternity and inherit his entire (very sizable) estate when he died.  The saddest thing is that gay marriage didn't exist here in Italy (still doesn't) so his long term partner would have no rights to his estate whereas his rotten daughter would. There was absolutely nothing he could do about this.
Hmmm, in his [fine Italian] shoes, I'd have spent money on my SO in any way possible. Lavish gifts, travel, jewelry, gold coins...

Hula Hoop

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2513 on: April 06, 2021, 02:53:24 PM »
It's the same here in Italy so I guess this is a European thing. It can lead to some terrible outcomes.  The worst story I heard was many years ago when i first moved here and taught English on the side to make some money. One of my students was a very wealthy, old Italian man who actually spoke great English (which he learned by reading the Economist) but just wanted to chat for practice.  He was a semi-closeted gay man with a long term partner that not everyone knew about.  Anyway, his long lost daughter had come out of the woodwork a few years before we met.  At first, he was delighted. Apparently he had had a girlfriend during his university days and she had become pregnant without his knowledge.  When he met his daughter he spent a lot of time with her, they did DNA tests to confirm paternity and he acknowledged paternity legally.  As soon as he did this, she disappeared.  He was absolutely heartbroken as it was clear that she'd only sought out her father in order to get him to acknowledge paternity and inherit his entire (very sizable) estate when he died.  The saddest thing is that gay marriage didn't exist here in Italy (still doesn't) so his long term partner would have no rights to his estate whereas his rotten daughter would. There was absolutely nothing he could do about this.
Hmmm, in his [fine Italian] shoes, I'd have spent money on my SO in any way possible. Lavish gifts, travel, jewelry, gold coins...

He was extremely wealthy though - owned several apartment buildings in a nice part of town. Seemed to live a life of luxury.  It would be difficult to spent that amount of money on his partner.

Dicey

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2514 on: April 06, 2021, 03:25:40 PM »
It's the same here in Italy so I guess this is a European thing. It can lead to some terrible outcomes.  The worst story I heard was many years ago when i first moved here and taught English on the side to make some money. One of my students was a very wealthy, old Italian man who actually spoke great English (which he learned by reading the Economist) but just wanted to chat for practice.  He was a semi-closeted gay man with a long term partner that not everyone knew about.  Anyway, his long lost daughter had come out of the woodwork a few years before we met.  At first, he was delighted. Apparently he had had a girlfriend during his university days and she had become pregnant without his knowledge.  When he met his daughter he spent a lot of time with her, they did DNA tests to confirm paternity and he acknowledged paternity legally.  As soon as he did this, she disappeared.  He was absolutely heartbroken as it was clear that she'd only sought out her father in order to get him to acknowledge paternity and inherit his entire (very sizable) estate when he died.  The saddest thing is that gay marriage didn't exist here in Italy (still doesn't) so his long term partner would have no rights to his estate whereas his rotten daughter would. There was absolutely nothing he could do about this.
Hmmm, in his [fine Italian] shoes, I'd have spent money on my SO in any way possible. Lavish gifts, travel, jewelry, gold coins...

He was extremely wealthy though - owned several apartment buildings in a nice part of town. Seemed to live a life of luxury.  It would be difficult to spent that amount of money on his partner.
I wouldn't expect that it would be possible to give it all to his partner. Personally, I'd just want to divert enough so that he and the partner weren't completely shafted by the long-lost daughter.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2515 on: April 06, 2021, 03:33:38 PM »
It's the same here in Italy so I guess this is a European thing. It can lead to some terrible outcomes.  The worst story I heard was many years ago when i first moved here and taught English on the side to make some money. One of my students was a very wealthy, old Italian man who actually spoke great English (which he learned by reading the Economist) but just wanted to chat for practice.  He was a semi-closeted gay man with a long term partner that not everyone knew about.  Anyway, his long lost daughter had come out of the woodwork a few years before we met.  At first, he was delighted. Apparently he had had a girlfriend during his university days and she had become pregnant without his knowledge.  When he met his daughter he spent a lot of time with her, they did DNA tests to confirm paternity and he acknowledged paternity legally.  As soon as he did this, she disappeared.  He was absolutely heartbroken as it was clear that she'd only sought out her father in order to get him to acknowledge paternity and inherit his entire (very sizable) estate when he died.  The saddest thing is that gay marriage didn't exist here in Italy (still doesn't) so his long term partner would have no rights to his estate whereas his rotten daughter would. There was absolutely nothing he could do about this.
Hmmm, in his [fine Italian] shoes, I'd have spent money on my SO in any way possible. Lavish gifts, travel, jewelry, gold coins...

He was extremely wealthy though - owned several apartment buildings in a nice part of town. Seemed to live a life of luxury.  It would be difficult to spent that amount of money on his partner.
I wouldn't expect that it would be possible to give it all to his partner. Personally, I'd just want to divert enough so that he and the partner weren't completely shafted by the long-lost daughter.

From what I remember there was a small portion that he could will to his partner but the vast majority would go to rotten daughter automatically.  If it hadn't gone to her it would have gone to his siblings.

TomTX

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2516 on: April 06, 2021, 03:58:03 PM »
It's the same here in Italy so I guess this is a European thing. It can lead to some terrible outcomes.  The worst story I heard was many years ago when i first moved here and taught English on the side to make some money. One of my students was a very wealthy, old Italian man who actually spoke great English (which he learned by reading the Economist) but just wanted to chat for practice.  He was a semi-closeted gay man with a long term partner that not everyone knew about.  Anyway, his long lost daughter had come out of the woodwork a few years before we met.  At first, he was delighted. Apparently he had had a girlfriend during his university days and she had become pregnant without his knowledge.  When he met his daughter he spent a lot of time with her, they did DNA tests to confirm paternity and he acknowledged paternity legally.  As soon as he did this, she disappeared.  He was absolutely heartbroken as it was clear that she'd only sought out her father in order to get him to acknowledge paternity and inherit his entire (very sizable) estate when he died.  The saddest thing is that gay marriage didn't exist here in Italy (still doesn't) so his long term partner would have no rights to his estate whereas his rotten daughter would. There was absolutely nothing he could do about this.
Hmmm, in his [fine Italian] shoes, I'd have spent money on my SO in any way possible. Lavish gifts, travel, jewelry, gold coins...

Establish residency in a country with sane inheritance laws, or put everything into a trust/corporation/whatever legal structure with the partner as beneficiary.

I don't know if it's the same in Italy, but in the USA it's pretty simple to have money, stocks, bonds and such bypass probate entirely. Set up a "payable on death" beneficiary. Estate never even sees the money. Real estate ownership can be structured with right of survivorship. Etc.

If you're even moderately wealthy, there are always ways to do what you want with your money (for the most part.) Find a good estate lawyer and get it done.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2517 on: April 06, 2021, 04:12:38 PM »
It's the same here in Italy so I guess this is a European thing. It can lead to some terrible outcomes.  The worst story I heard was many years ago when i first moved here and taught English on the side to make some money. One of my students was a very wealthy, old Italian man who actually spoke great English (which he learned by reading the Economist) but just wanted to chat for practice.  He was a semi-closeted gay man with a long term partner that not everyone knew about.  Anyway, his long lost daughter had come out of the woodwork a few years before we met.  At first, he was delighted. Apparently he had had a girlfriend during his university days and she had become pregnant without his knowledge.  When he met his daughter he spent a lot of time with her, they did DNA tests to confirm paternity and he acknowledged paternity legally.  As soon as he did this, she disappeared.  He was absolutely heartbroken as it was clear that she'd only sought out her father in order to get him to acknowledge paternity and inherit his entire (very sizable) estate when he died.  The saddest thing is that gay marriage didn't exist here in Italy (still doesn't) so his long term partner would have no rights to his estate whereas his rotten daughter would. There was absolutely nothing he could do about this.
Hmmm, in his [fine Italian] shoes, I'd have spent money on my SO in any way possible. Lavish gifts, travel, jewelry, gold coins...

Establish residency in a country with sane inheritance laws, or put everything into a trust/corporation/whatever legal structure with the partner as beneficiary.

I don't know if it's the same in Italy, but in the USA it's pretty simple to have money, stocks, bonds and such bypass probate entirely. Set up a "payable on death" beneficiary. Estate never even sees the money. Real estate ownership can be structured with right of survivorship. Etc.

If you're even moderately wealthy, there are always ways to do what you want with your money (for the most part.) Find a good estate lawyer and get it done.

The point of my post is that inheritance laws are completely different here from the US.  I don't think that what you're suggesting is possible under italian law but if there are any italian lawyers on the forum they could correct me.

SwordGuy

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2518 on: April 06, 2021, 04:50:37 PM »
Set up a real estate investing company, transfer ownership of the properties to said company, and then sell the desired percentage of ownership to his partner.   Set up payment terms that require no money down and gift the year's payment amount to his partner, who then pays their payment and hands it back.   Set up the terms so the debt is considered paid in full upon his death.   

Lots of other things for the lawyer to double-check, but that's the start of how to try to do it.   Of course, he had better (rightly) trust his partner.   Then again, without the gifts the partner might not be able to make the payments and would lose out on their investment.   

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2519 on: April 06, 2021, 05:15:35 PM »
It's the same here in Italy so I guess this is a European thing. It can lead to some terrible outcomes.  The worst story I heard was many years ago when i first moved here and taught English on the side to make some money. One of my students was a very wealthy, old Italian man who actually spoke great English (which he learned by reading the Economist) but just wanted to chat for practice.  He was a semi-closeted gay man with a long term partner that not everyone knew about.  Anyway, his long lost daughter had come out of the woodwork a few years before we met.  At first, he was delighted. Apparently he had had a girlfriend during his university days and she had become pregnant without his knowledge.  When he met his daughter he spent a lot of time with her, they did DNA tests to confirm paternity and he acknowledged paternity legally.  As soon as he did this, she disappeared.  He was absolutely heartbroken as it was clear that she'd only sought out her father in order to get him to acknowledge paternity and inherit his entire (very sizable) estate when he died.  The saddest thing is that gay marriage didn't exist here in Italy (still doesn't) so his long term partner would have no rights to his estate whereas his rotten daughter would. There was absolutely nothing he could do about this.
Hmmm, in his [fine Italian] shoes, I'd have spent money on my SO in any way possible. Lavish gifts, travel, jewelry, gold coins...

He was extremely wealthy though - owned several apartment buildings in a nice part of town. Seemed to live a life of luxury.  It would be difficult to spent that amount of money on his partner.
I wouldn't expect that it would be possible to give it all to his partner. Personally, I'd just want to divert enough so that he and the partner weren't completely shafted by the long-lost daughter.

Yeah, I'd be buying gifts for that partner that held their value, even if the partner didn't actually like them.  Jewelry, precious stones, truly valuable antiques and art, etc.  Not hard to spend a *lot* of money on someone.  Gift them one Picasso and that should more or less take care of most of it!

Dicey

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2520 on: April 06, 2021, 11:36:31 PM »
^^That's exactly what I had in mind. Stuff the partner could easily sell later. ^^

Imma

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2521 on: April 07, 2021, 04:05:48 AM »
I have absolutely no idea how that works in Italy, but in the Netherlands, gifts over about Ä3000 to someone who is not a relative (blood or by marriage)  are taxable. And any gifts that are gifted in the 6 months before death have to be returned to the estate, to make sure people aren't going to give away a large part of the estate when they know they are going to die, to avoid inheritance tax. Depending on the circumstances, if an elderly person would give large gifts to someone before their death, the heirs could potentially claim that that someone abused the trust and the age of the person leaving the inheritance and it could go to court.

It happened in my family when an elderly person died, that person had no children or spouse but lots of nieces and nephews. One of them spent a lot of time caring for that person and in return for that they would get money. Not significant amounts, something like Ä50/100 a week. People seriously considered going to court over that, but in the end the size of the estate was not worth it. But inheriting equal shares of the "family money" was something that everyone considered to be a birthright, even though one was a carer and the others were not. I was not an heir of that estate, but I knew my family member was mentally competent, no one took advantage of them, so I feel they absolutely had a right to give their own money to their carer.

In our country only parents can't disinherit their children, so if you don't have children you can totally disinherit your siblings or nieces/nephews, but it would be extremely unusual in my social circle.

Hula Hoop

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« Reply #2522 on: April 07, 2021, 02:29:52 PM »
Imma - that sounds very familiar so I'm pretty sure Italian law is similar. 

Another inheritance drama I heard about here was an old man without a spouse or kids who lived in our old building.  He left his apartment to the doorman and his wife when he died after a long illness.  The doorman and wife had been taking care of him, bringing him food, taking him to doctor's appointments etc. for years.  Several people in the building claimed that they were only doing all this in order to manipulate the old man to leave them his apartment. At one point one of these neighbors came to our door to try to convince my husband to join them in digging up the old man's long lost relatives in his home village (I think they said that they were cousins) and convincing them to sue the doorman and his wife for stealing their rightful inheritance.  My husband told them to go away and never ask him this again.  Apparently these cousins in the old man's birth village, who hadn't seen him in many years and didn't even know that he had died, had a right to half (or it may have been three quarters) of his apartment because they were his closest relatives.  Luckily for everyone, they declined to sue so the doorman and his wife got to keep the apartment.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2021, 02:31:46 PM by Hula Hoop »

scottish

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2523 on: April 07, 2021, 03:17:29 PM »
I have absolutely no idea how that works in Italy, but in the Netherlands, gifts over about Ä3000 to someone who is not a relative (blood or by marriage)  are taxable. And any gifts that are gifted in the 6 months before death have to be returned to the estate, to make sure people aren't going to give away a large part of the estate when they know they are going to die, to avoid inheritance tax. Depending on the circumstances, if an elderly person would give large gifts to someone before their death, the heirs could potentially claim that that someone abused the trust and the age of the person leaving the inheritance and it could go to court.

It happened in my family when an elderly person died, that person had no children or spouse but lots of nieces and nephews. One of them spent a lot of time caring for that person and in return for that they would get money. Not significant amounts, something like Ä50/100 a week. People seriously considered going to court over that, but in the end the size of the estate was not worth it. But inheriting equal shares of the "family money" was something that everyone considered to be a birthright, even though one was a carer and the others were not. I was not an heir of that estate, but I knew my family member was mentally competent, no one took advantage of them, so I feel they absolutely had a right to give their own money to their carer.

In our country only parents can't disinherit their children, so if you don't have children you can totally disinherit your siblings or nieces/nephews, but it would be extremely unusual in my social circle.

How are inheritance taxes structured in the Netherlands?     This particular tax grab is largely missing in Canada, I'm curious what the future may bring.

Imma

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2524 on: April 08, 2021, 12:49:50 AM »
I have absolutely no idea how that works in Italy, but in the Netherlands, gifts over about Ä3000 to someone who is not a relative (blood or by marriage)  are taxable. And any gifts that are gifted in the 6 months before death have to be returned to the estate, to make sure people aren't going to give away a large part of the estate when they know they are going to die, to avoid inheritance tax. Depending on the circumstances, if an elderly person would give large gifts to someone before their death, the heirs could potentially claim that that someone abused the trust and the age of the person leaving the inheritance and it could go to court.

It happened in my family when an elderly person died, that person had no children or spouse but lots of nieces and nephews. One of them spent a lot of time caring for that person and in return for that they would get money. Not significant amounts, something like Ä50/100 a week. People seriously considered going to court over that, but in the end the size of the estate was not worth it. But inheriting equal shares of the "family money" was something that everyone considered to be a birthright, even though one was a carer and the others were not. I was not an heir of that estate, but I knew my family member was mentally competent, no one took advantage of them, so I feel they absolutely had a right to give their own money to their carer.

In our country only parents can't disinherit their children, so if you don't have children you can totally disinherit your siblings or nieces/nephews, but it would be extremely unusual in my social circle.

How are inheritance taxes structured in the Netherlands?     This particular tax grab is largely missing in Canada, I'm curious what the future may bring.

Inheritance taxes have been a thing since the mid-19th century and were at that point a way to deal with aristocratic landownership. And by the turn of the 20th  century, the aristocracy's power over the land had been broken. My family were able to set themselves up as independent farmers in the late 19th century and without inheritance tax, that wouldn't have happened. The local lord of the manor would never voluntarily sell to his former tenant farmers. Tenant farmers had few rights in those days, they could be kicked out of their farm if they converted to a different religion and if they wanted to move they needed a good reference from their old lord to secure a new tenancy elsewhere. So for my ancestors to start owning their own property was a massive thing.

A part of the inheritance is tax-free, then there's a portion that is taxed at a lower rate, then anything over that is taxed at full rate. For a spouse or legal partner, something like Ä675.000 is tax free and Ä125.000 over that is taxed at a lower rate of 10%. So only if the estate is larger than Ä800.000, a spouse has to pay 20% tax. So that's something you'd only have to deal with if your total net worth is over 1,6 million. The average inheritance from a spouse is Ä80.000, so very few spouses actually pay inheritance tax.

What bothers me though, as a childless person, that there are great tax advantages to leaving money or a business to a spouse or a direct descendent, but if you are leaving money to someone who is not a blood relative, it's taxed at an extremely high rate (tax-free portion of Ä2000, 30% tax over the next Ä125.000, 40% tax over the rest of the estate). I can give away some money before death as a tax-free gift, but that's only Ä3000/year. So unfortunately a large part of my estate will go to the taxman for the simple reason that I did not have children - and I've already saved society a fortune by not having them.

SwordGuy

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2525 on: April 08, 2021, 07:27:23 AM »
but if you are leaving money to someone who is not a blood relative, it's taxed at an extremely high rate (tax-free portion of Ä2000, 30% tax over the next Ä125.000, 40% tax over the rest of the estate). I can give away some money before death as a tax-free gift, but that's only Ä3000/year.
Set up a passive business for with them with the terms that their ownership of the business increases because they are doing the work on the business and you aren't.  Then it's not a gift and each year the percentage that would be taxed would drop. Rental real estate would be an example, another would be sharecropped farmland.   If you can set it up as a joint tenancy with write of survivorship, they own it when you die.

Catbert

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« Reply #2526 on: April 08, 2021, 10:53:24 AM »
Fascinating.  I wonder whether Swedes make different decisions about supporting their children financially than people do who live in places where you can leave different amounts to different children.

Did that happen to Larsen's estate because he didn't have a will? Or did he have a will naming his partner but that will was illegal under Swedish law?

Does any Swede have any leeway in how to leave money? What happens if I have no husband, no children, no siblings, and my parents are both dead?

My memory of the Steig Larrson case:  Steig Larrson and his partner had been together their entire adult life.  They were broke reporters owning nothing of particular value and no will.  He wrote 3 books (and outlined 7 more).  Shortly after a book deal was signed and before they were published he died suddenly (heart attack?).  The books were published posthumously and were surprise best sellers.  His brother (and father?) inherited his entire estate.  His partner may have had physical possession of the outlines but no right to use them.  I may have some details wrong but really in this case what happened is exactly what would happen in the US in similar circumstances.

Imma

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2527 on: April 08, 2021, 02:31:21 PM »
but if you are leaving money to someone who is not a blood relative, it's taxed at an extremely high rate (tax-free portion of Ä2000, 30% tax over the next Ä125.000, 40% tax over the rest of the estate). I can give away some money before death as a tax-free gift, but that's only Ä3000/year.
Set up a passive business for with them with the terms that their ownership of the business increases because they are doing the work on the business and you aren't.  Then it's not a gift and each year the percentage that would be taxed would drop. Rental real estate would be an example, another would be sharecropped farmland.   If you can set it up as a joint tenancy with write of survivorship, they own it when you die.

You're right, there are many tax planning options. Right now I'm hesitating to start that because I'm not FI yet and a lot of those options are not-reversible. But I am slowly starting to plan for the day I have more money than I'll ever need.

My mother recently disclosed to me how much I'd inherit if she were to die today (I'm glad we're open about that in my family). It's more than I thought it would be. She started over from less than 0 when she divorced in middle age but through smart decisions and frugal life she's now doing just as well as many married couples in their 60s are. She enjoys her job and isn't planning on retiring anytime soon. Judging by the lives and deaths of her parents and grandparents she could have 25 good healthy years ahead of her and then die very quickly and unexpectedly (and needing very little care). At that point I may not need any inheritance at all and I could just choose to not accept any money from her estate so my siblings get more (they'll need it more too), I could just take some sentimental things. That would be more tax efficient since I'd want money from her estate to go to my siblings after my death. I've told my mother she should take the trips she's always talked about and spend money on what makes her happy, she worked hard for that money, but she's frugal, she's not going to spend much.

We own our family home in joint tenancy with right of survivorship but in our country that still makes you liable for inheritance tax. We chose the right of survivorship as an extra protection in case any of our relatives would think of contesting the will. When we bought the house was our only real asset. I don't think any of our heirs could ever succesfully contest the will, but in case someone tried I want Mr Imma to have full control over our house immediately, even though he may have to wait for the rest of my estate.

iris lily

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2528 on: April 09, 2021, 08:38:04 AM »
Fascinating.  I wonder whether Swedes make different decisions about supporting their children financially than people do who live in places where you can leave different amounts to different children.

Did that happen to Larsen's estate because he didn't have a will? Or did he have a will naming his partner but that will was illegal under Swedish law?

Does any Swede have any leeway in how to leave money? What happens if I have no husband, no children, no siblings, and my parents are both dead?

My memory of the Steig Larrson case:  Steig Larrson and his partner had been together their entire adult life.  They were broke reporters owning nothing of particular value and no will.  He wrote 3 books (and outlined 7 more).  Shortly after a book deal was signed and before they were published he died suddenly (heart attack?).  The books were published posthumously and were surprise best sellers.  His brother (and father?) inherited his entire estate.  His partner may have had physical possession of the outlines but no right to use them.  I may have some details wrong but really in this case what happened is exactly what would happen in the US in similar circumstances.

It sounds like his partner still couldíve made out like a bandit by selling the physical objects she owned, the remaining manuscripts, to Larrsonís  family who owned the rights to publish them.


Villanelle

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2529 on: April 09, 2021, 12:27:35 PM »
Fascinating.  I wonder whether Swedes make different decisions about supporting their children financially than people do who live in places where you can leave different amounts to different children.

Did that happen to Larsen's estate because he didn't have a will? Or did he have a will naming his partner but that will was illegal under Swedish law?

Does any Swede have any leeway in how to leave money? What happens if I have no husband, no children, no siblings, and my parents are both dead?

My memory of the Steig Larrson case:  Steig Larrson and his partner had been together their entire adult life.  They were broke reporters owning nothing of particular value and no will.  He wrote 3 books (and outlined 7 more).  Shortly after a book deal was signed and before they were published he died suddenly (heart attack?).  The books were published posthumously and were surprise best sellers.  His brother (and father?) inherited his entire estate.  His partner may have had physical possession of the outlines but no right to use them.  I may have some details wrong but really in this case what happened is exactly what would happen in the US in similar circumstances.

It sounds like his partner still couldíve made out like a bandit by selling the physical objects she owned, the remaining manuscripts, to Larrsonís  family who owned the rights to publish them.

That depends.  If the outlines were his at the time of death, those would have inherited by the family.  If she owned them, she probably could have done that.  But that would have required him to give her outlines for stories he hadn't actually written, which seems unlikely to happen.  I'm a writer and I have all sorts of outlines and partially written things.  I would never say to anyone, "these belong to you" both because they have no value (which is how Larrson would have perceived them at the time) and because they are sort of personal-feeling.  Why would you think to gift them to anyone else? And if he didn't specifically do that, they were his, not the partners (who I've assumed is a 'her', mostly for the sake of clarity so I can use different pronouns) so is family owned them--both the physical objects and the intellectual and creative property. 

Now, I'd hope in that case that the family would be decent and share at least some of their windfall with their son/brother's. That seems the morally correct choice.  But not everyone strives for "moral" in these cases, and even when they do, the bottom line they arrive at as fair my not feel fair to the partner.  Should have have given her half?  90%?  All except death and funeral expenses?  What is "fair"?  What would Steig have wanted?  Absent a specific conversation, there's no way to know that.

This thread caused me to google their situation.  Supposedly, a big part of the reason they didn't marry is that he was a political journalist who had made enemies (and a time when Sweden had a high-profile murdering of a political journalist, even).  Marrying would have required publishing their address.  And she also used to sometimes hide the identity of her partner from people, for their safety.  But it sounds like they had actually planned to marry, finally, because he had gotten a book deal and was moving out of political journalism (at least partly).   Apparently (I don't know if this fact is disputed) they had planned a birthday party at which they planned to surprise the guests with the knowledge that it was actually a wedding reception.  But he died before it happened.  And because of that, she got nothing (though she ended up getting to keep their apartment, though she had to fight the family even for that).  She also claims to have been active in advising him on his writing, making many suggestions he used in the book. And she claims that many things the family did with the estate were actively against his wishes.  he had refused to let the Swedish publishers change the name he had chose for the book (Men who Hate Women) so clearly that was important to him, but the family let the US (and other) publishers change it to what we know--The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. 

It's a sad story. 

Imma

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2530 on: April 09, 2021, 02:30:49 PM »
I wonder why he didn't leave a will. It sounds like they were together for ages, and lived like a married couple but didn't want to go through the formalities for understandable reasons.  From a quick google search it seems like he was long-term estranged from his father and brother and had been engaged to his partner for 20 years. Maybe because he figured he'd have nothing of value to leave her? But it seems like at the very least they owned a flat together and he must have had some personal property. Even if he hadn't become famous after death, you'd think he'd wanted that to go to his partner rather than his stranged family.

iris lily

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2531 on: April 09, 2021, 02:35:18 PM »
I wonder why he didn't leave a will. It sounds like they were together for ages, and lived like a married couple but didn't want to go through the formalities for understandable reasons.  From a quick google search it seems like he was long-term estranged from his father and brother and had been engaged to his partner for 20 years. Maybe because he figured he'd have nothing of value to leave her? But it seems like at the very least they owned a flat together and he must have had some personal property. Even if he hadn't become famous after death, you'd think he'd wanted that to go to his partner rather than his stranged family.

His isnt one of those countries that awarded his assets to his legal relatives?

I do find that idea of European countries shocking. Damn, itís my money, the last thing I want is my $3 million going to my brothers and sisters nieces and nephews. Well they are getting some of it in our current well, theyíre organizations I would much rather leave money to.

So in these European countries spoken of above, do organizations i.e. charities get anything upon someoneís death?

merula

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2532 on: April 09, 2021, 03:18:40 PM »
I wonder why he didn't leave a will. It sounds like they were together for ages, and lived like a married couple but didn't want to go through the formalities for understandable reasons.  From a quick google search it seems like he was long-term estranged from his father and brother and had been engaged to his partner for 20 years. Maybe because he figured he'd have nothing of value to leave her? But it seems like at the very least they owned a flat together and he must have had some personal property. Even if he hadn't become famous after death, you'd think he'd wanted that to go to his partner rather than his stranged family.

His isnt one of those countries that awarded his assets to his legal relatives?

I do find that idea of European countries shocking. Damn, itís my money, the last thing I want is my $3 million going to my brothers and sisters nieces and nephews. Well they are getting some of it in our current well, theyíre organizations I would much rather leave money to.

So in these European countries spoken of above, do organizations i.e. charities get anything upon someoneís death?

So many people don't think they need wills if they don't have kids, or don't have significant assets. If he'd had a will, he could've done whatever he wanted with his assets, but he didn't. And even in the countries that require leaving some amount to immediate family, there's nothing to prevent you from giving to charity instead of your nieces/nephews.

Imma

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2533 on: April 09, 2021, 03:28:30 PM »
I wonder why he didn't leave a will. It sounds like they were together for ages, and lived like a married couple but didn't want to go through the formalities for understandable reasons.  From a quick google search it seems like he was long-term estranged from his father and brother and had been engaged to his partner for 20 years. Maybe because he figured he'd have nothing of value to leave her? But it seems like at the very least they owned a flat together and he must have had some personal property. Even if he hadn't become famous after death, you'd think he'd wanted that to go to his partner rather than his stranged family.

His isnt one of those countries that awarded his assets to his legal relatives?

I do find that idea of European countries shocking. Damn, itís my money, the last thing I want is my $3 million going to my brothers and sisters nieces and nephews. Well they are getting some of it in our current well, theyíre organizations I would much rather leave money to.

So in these European countries spoken of above, do organizations i.e. charities get anything upon someoneís death?

I don't know about Sweden, but in my country (the Netherlands) only parents are obliged to leave something to their children. If you don't have a spouse or kids it's just tax disadvantaged to let non-family inherit, it's not impossible. A child has a birthright to their parents' estate, but a sibling or niece/nephew doesn't, there's only a strong moral obligation in my social circle, and a tax advantage.

In my country, charities can get inheritances tax-free. If I wanted to leave my estate to a friend they'd pay a fortune in taxes but a charity would not have to pay that.

Plina

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2534 on: April 09, 2021, 04:14:39 PM »
I wonder why he didn't leave a will. It sounds like they were together for ages, and lived like a married couple but didn't want to go through the formalities for understandable reasons.  From a quick google search it seems like he was long-term estranged from his father and brother and had been engaged to his partner for 20 years. Maybe because he figured he'd have nothing of value to leave her? But it seems like at the very least they owned a flat together and he must have had some personal property. Even if he hadn't become famous after death, you'd think he'd wanted that to go to his partner rather than his stranged family.

His isnt one of those countries that awarded his assets to his legal relatives?

I do find that idea of European countries shocking. Damn, itís my money, the last thing I want is my $3 million going to my brothers and sisters nieces and nephews. Well they are getting some of it in our current well, theyíre organizations I would much rather leave money to.

So in these European countries spoken of above, do organizations i.e. charities get anything upon someoneís death?

I don't know about Sweden, but in my country (the Netherlands) only parents are obliged to leave something to their children. If you don't have a spouse or kids it's just tax disadvantaged to let non-family inherit, it's not impossible. A child has a birthright to their parents' estate, but a sibling or niece/nephew doesn't, there's only a strong moral obligation in my social circle, and a tax advantage.

In my country, charities can get inheritances tax-free. If I wanted to leave my estate to a friend they'd pay a fortune in taxes but a charity would not have to pay that.

You can exclude everyone except your married spouse or kids. You are under no obligation to leave anything to your parents, siblings, nieces or nephews. I would not say there is a moral obligation to leave your money to nieces or nephews in Sweden but it is common that they receive the inheritance because there is no will or there is a will to a favourite among nieces or nephews. There is no point in having a will if your inheritance goes to the one that you want to anyway as we donít have an estatetax there is no reason to make extra hassle to avoid taxes.

I would say it is less common to give to charities but it also exists. We fund a lot of what your charities fund already through taxes.

In Larsson case it is pretty simple legally. If there is no will, the partner donít inherit. You can pretty much look up everyones adresses on internet if they are not made secret due to some threat, which happens only in extreme cases. If you Google me you would get my adress, birthday, who I am living with, how much my apartment is worth and my neighbours, my vehicules and if you paid income. You can also call the tax authority to get the same information as well as the social security number. The telephonenumber is pretty much the only thing that you can hide. So I donít believe the adress theory. If you have protection it would not be realised due to a marriage.

I believe it was one of the cases were they could not be bothered to do wills. In Sweden there is a societal expectation that both parties support themselves so I am not that surprised that there was no will. I had friends that got  married after being together for 20 years, when he got terminal cancer probably to make things easier when the inevitable happened.

Mighty Eyebrows

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2535 on: April 09, 2021, 10:37:10 PM »
In Larsson case it is pretty simple legally. If there is no will, the partner donít inherit.

Amazing. It does show how different laws are around the world. In British Columbia, if you have cohabited for 2 years you are considered married. Dying without a will causes the estate to be handled by the government, so other family members could have also made claims, but (without kids) his partner would have had the strongest claim.


Plina

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2536 on: April 09, 2021, 11:54:09 PM »
In Larsson case it is pretty simple legally. If there is no will, the partner donít inherit.

Amazing. It does show how different laws are around the world. In British Columbia, if you have cohabited for 2 years you are considered married. Dying without a will causes the estate to be handled by the government, so other family members could have also made claims, but (without kids) his partner would have had the strongest claim.

The heirs handle the estate together her. When my fathers uncle without spouse or kids died my father and a cousin stepped in and handled the funeral and the estate. In this case there are about 20 nieces and nephews that inherited because of lack of will. They hired someone to make a list of the inventory. It was made based on the cousins knowledge of the content. Most of the cousins gave a power of attorney to the person hired. The list was submitted to the tax authority who approved it.The estate is now ready to be divided. It would have been a pretty standard case if there had not been a property that is coowned.

If the heirs canít agree on how to handle the estate or to split the estate then the court can appoint a lawyer to handle the estate. It is pretty rare because the cost of lawyer will in most case eat up the estate and most of the people donít want to end up with a legal bill.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2021, 11:56:09 PM by Plina »

lemanfan

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2537 on: April 10, 2021, 03:52:28 AM »
This thread made me realize I need a will.  If nothing else but to prevent my money going to the Swedish Inheritance Fund if the unexpected happens. 

@Plina check out https://mrkoll.se/  - there you might find even more info available about us, free for anyone and online.  :)


lemanfan

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2538 on: April 10, 2021, 04:28:12 AM »
OK, I've spammed this thread enough without posting a story, so let me post one which might be a bit different drama than most...

My paternal grandfather had six siblings. One sister and five brothers. Four of the brothers emigrated in the early 1900:s and two ended up in Canada with large families and to in California but left no kids (at least not known to us).  One sister and two brothers thus stayed in Sweden. 

The remaining Swedish brother had a partly hard life, where he survived both his son and his wife by decades, but I remember him as the joker of the family - always in a good mood and always making jokes or playing pranks.  I think he drank quite a bit.

In the mid 1980:ies he passed away and my father as his nephew was then one of the closest living relatives - but there was scores of more distant relatives in Sweden, Canada, UK and possibly in the USA.  I was in the early teens at the time but I helped my father and another relative to clean out the apartment and when doing that we found an envelope addressed to the survivors of his death.

So we opened the envelope, which gave directions to a hidden cabinet in the apartment, which in turn directed us to an urn in a bookshelf... and then a treasure hunt took place with one clue leading to the next in several steps - until we finally found a key to a security box at the local bank.

At the bank, the manager first wouldn't let us open the safety box since all affected relatives was not there, but after a long discussion and a call to a lawyer, we were finally allowed to open the box.  And in the box we found just an old rubber band.

He had managed to play one final joke on us. Wherever he ended up in the afterlife, I'm sure he giggled like I remember him doing when thinking of this.  :)
« Last Edit: April 10, 2021, 04:42:40 AM by lemanfan »

Plina

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2539 on: April 10, 2021, 05:04:52 AM »
This thread made me realize I need a will.  If nothing else but to prevent my money going to the Swedish Inheritance Fund if the unexpected happens. 

@Plina check out https://mrkoll.se/  - there you might find even more info available about us, free for anyone and online.  :)

Nice, it only gets worse.

 I will wait with the will while my parents are alive but thereafter I will deal with getting one as I donít want the money spent on some thing that I would probably consider stupid by my siblings. So either it goes to my sisters kids depending on if I like what they become or charity.

TomTX

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2540 on: April 10, 2021, 07:10:25 AM »
but if you are leaving money to someone who is not a blood relative, it's taxed at an extremely high rate (tax-free portion of Ä2000, 30% tax over the next Ä125.000, 40% tax over the rest of the estate). I can give away some money before death as a tax-free gift, but that's only Ä3000/year.
Set up a passive business for with them with the terms that their ownership of the business increases because they are doing the work on the business and you aren't.  Then it's not a gift and each year the percentage that would be taxed would drop. Rental real estate would be an example, another would be sharecropped farmland.   If you can set it up as a joint tenancy with write of survivorship, they own it when you die.

Yep. There is almost always some kind of arrangement where you can legally avoid estate taxes if you plan early enough. Which is why I originally suggested an estate lawyer (or whatever the Italian equivalent is).

iris lily

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2541 on: April 10, 2021, 08:45:25 AM »
Lemanfan, I loved your story!

Dicey

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2542 on: April 10, 2021, 09:03:56 AM »
Lemanfan, I loved your story!
Me, too!

Wolfpack Mustachian

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2543 on: April 10, 2021, 12:58:47 PM »
Lemanfan, I loved your story!
Me, too!
It was so cool. I really, really want to do this now!

Sayyadina

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2544 on: April 10, 2021, 02:02:16 PM »
It was heartwarming! Not usually what I expect from this thread...

iris lily

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2545 on: April 10, 2021, 02:29:15 PM »
This practical joke-playing uncle gave a wonderful legacy to those left behind: a memory that makes them smile plus the best cocktail party story ever!

talltexan

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2546 on: April 12, 2021, 08:31:54 AM »
Indeed, one must wonder how much the lawyer billed for the phone call with the banker. That may well be among the world's most expensive rubber bands!

DadJokes

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2547 on: April 15, 2021, 06:22:21 AM »
OK, I've spammed this thread enough without posting a story, so let me post one which might be a bit different drama than most...

...

He had managed to play one final joke on us. Wherever he ended up in the afterlife, I'm sure he giggled like I remember him doing when thinking of this.  :)

Absolutely beautiful. Thanks for sharing that.

bluebelle

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2548 on: April 15, 2021, 09:14:02 AM »
I have absolutely no idea how that works in Italy, but in the Netherlands, gifts over about Ä3000 to someone who is not a relative (blood or by marriage)  are taxable. And any gifts that are gifted in the 6 months before death have to be returned to the estate, to make sure people aren't going to give away a large part of the estate when they know they are going to die, to avoid inheritance tax. Depending on the circumstances, if an elderly person would give large gifts to someone before their death, the heirs could potentially claim that that someone abused the trust and the age of the person leaving the inheritance and it could go to court.

It happened in my family when an elderly person died, that person had no children or spouse but lots of nieces and nephews. One of them spent a lot of time caring for that person and in return for that they would get money. Not significant amounts, something like Ä50/100 a week. People seriously considered going to court over that, but in the end the size of the estate was not worth it. But inheriting equal shares of the "family money" was something that everyone considered to be a birthright, even though one was a carer and the others were not. I was not an heir of that estate, but I knew my family member was mentally competent, no one took advantage of them, so I feel they absolutely had a right to give their own money to their carer.

In our country only parents can't disinherit their children, so if you don't have children you can totally disinherit your siblings or nieces/nephews, but it would be extremely unusual in my social circle.

How are inheritance taxes structured in the Netherlands?     This particular tax grab is largely missing in Canada, I'm curious what the future may bring.
not so much missing as paid a different way.   When someone dies, without a spouse, everything they own is deemed 'sold' at time of death and any capital gains are taxed to the estate, even RRSPs and RRIFs.   If the deceased has a spouse, RRIFs and RRSPs can transfer without tax, primary residence is also excluded.   So the deceased pays the taxes, not the one inheriting.

Imma

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #2549 on: April 15, 2021, 09:33:58 AM »
I have absolutely no idea how that works in Italy, but in the Netherlands, gifts over about Ä3000 to someone who is not a relative (blood or by marriage)  are taxable. And any gifts that are gifted in the 6 months before death have to be returned to the estate, to make sure people aren't going to give away a large part of the estate when they know they are going to die, to avoid inheritance tax. Depending on the circumstances, if an elderly person would give large gifts to someone before their death, the heirs could potentially claim that that someone abused the trust and the age of the person leaving the inheritance and it could go to court.

It happened in my family when an elderly person died, that person had no children or spouse but lots of nieces and nephews. One of them spent a lot of time caring for that person and in return for that they would get money. Not significant amounts, something like Ä50/100 a week. People seriously considered going to court over that, but in the end the size of the estate was not worth it. But inheriting equal shares of the "family money" was something that everyone considered to be a birthright, even though one was a carer and the others were not. I was not an heir of that estate, but I knew my family member was mentally competent, no one took advantage of them, so I feel they absolutely had a right to give their own money to their carer.

In our country only parents can't disinherit their children, so if you don't have children you can totally disinherit your siblings or nieces/nephews, but it would be extremely unusual in my social circle.

How are inheritance taxes structured in the Netherlands?     This particular tax grab is largely missing in Canada, I'm curious what the future may bring.
not so much missing as paid a different way.   When someone dies, without a spouse, everything they own is deemed 'sold' at time of death and any capital gains are taxed to the estate, even RRSPs and RRIFs.   If the deceased has a spouse, RRIFs and RRSPs can transfer without tax, primary residence is also excluded.   So the deceased pays the taxes, not the one inheriting.

We have no capital gains tax at all, so I guess that's the difference.