Landowners who are fortunate enough to have property overlying the Marcellus Shale formation are realizing significant economic transformations. They and their heirs can look forward to a lease bonus payment followed by continued royalty payments. With so much at stake, it is critical that landowners plan now on how this money will be distributed to their families later.
We all know that it is good practice to review your estate plan whenever there are significant changes in the law or in your own life. The goal is to make sure that the estate plan properly provides for the distribution of assets and that the plan minimizes any Federal Estate or State Inheritance Taxes.
“Isn’t it enough to leave it all to my spouse or equally distribute among my children?” Given the size of the estate, this kind of “simple Will” isn’t sufficient at all. Much of the wealth gained may be lost to taxes, divorce or even creditors.
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