Lottery Winners Pay Huge Tax! If you win a lottery, don't spend your money until you discover what taxes you owe. First, there's a minimum federal income tax rate on your winnings of 35%. Then there's state income tax. Next, if you share your winnings, you have to pay a 35% federal gift tax on any amounts you gift over $5.12 million (the current exemption amount). Finally, at death, your estate will owe additional estate taxes (55% after January 2013) on the rest.
Monday, April 02, 2012
Warning! Dangers of Joint Tenancy Ownership. Many clients tell me that they've retitled their assets, especially those intended to pass according to the terms of their living trust, in the name of one or more of their children. Instead of leaving the titles in the name of their trust, they've effectively removed those assets from the trust and titled them jointly with someone else. The effect of this is to cause the asset to pass directly to the surviving joint owner and not to the beneficiaries of their trust. It is important that no title be changed to someone else as a joint owner with you unless you understand this completely, and intend that the asset pass only to the surviving owner. This is one reason why I recommend an annual review to make sure these kinds of inadvertent mistakes don't occur.