Sullivan & Company - Certified Public Accountants 4709 Montgomery Lane #201 - Bethesda, MD, 20814 Phone: 301-657-8080




Paul Sullivan, CPA

Sullivan & Company


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- Five Hidden Reasons You Need a Will

- Is Your Sales Force Meeting Your Needs?

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Five Hidden Reasons You Need A Will


Most people don't appreciate the full importance of a will, especially if they think their estate is too small to justify the time and expense of preparing one.


And even people who recognize the need for a will often don't have one, perhaps due to procrastination or a disinclination to broach this sensitive subject with loved ones. The truth is, almost everyone should have a will.


Here are the five basic reasons why:

Reason 1:

To Choose Beneficiaries

The intestate succession laws of the state in which you live determine how your property will be distributed if you die without a valid will.


For example, in most states the property of a married person with children who dies intestate (i.e., without a will) generally will be distributed one-third to the spouse and two-thirds to the children, while the property of an unmarried, childless person who dies intestate generally will be distributed to his or her parents (or siblings, if the parents are deceased).


These distributions may be contrary to what you want. In effect, by not having a will, you are allowing the state to choose your beneficiaries. Further, a will allows you to specify not only who will receive the property, but how much each beneficiary will receive..


Note: If you wish to leave property to a charity, a will may be needed to accomplish this goal.


Reason 2: To Minimize Taxes

Many people feel they do not need a will because their taxable estate does not exceed the amount allowed to pass free of federal estate tax. These assumptions, however, should be reviewed given the current state of change in the federal estate tax laws.


It is important to review and update your will on a regular basis. Most wills were written with the existence of a federal estate tax at a certain level.


Further, your taxable estate may be larger than you think. For example, life insurance, qualified retirement plan benefits, and IRAs typically pass outside of a will or estate administration. But retirement plan benefits and IRAs (and sometimes life insurance) are still part of your federal estate and can cause your estate to go over the threshold amount.


Also, in some states, the estate or inheritance tax differs from the federal laws. A properly prepared will is necessary to implement estate tax reduction strategies.


For the rest of the 5 Hidden Reasons, click here to go to the full article on the newsletter section of our web site.



As always you can call our offices if you have any questions about these or any other accounting related issues, at 301-657-8080. 


Regards, Paul Sullivan, CPA





Sullivan & Company, CPAs | 4709 Montgomery Lane | Bethesda, Md. 20814 | email:

Direct: 240-316-3531 | Main no.: 301-657-8080 Ext 102 | Fax: 301-657-9055