Season brings vast surprise inheritance for man's surviving kin

Sometimes, people who appear to be of moderate means have hidden away treasure that not even a relative knew about. What makes this quirky scenario even more complicated is when that wealthy person dies without having created an estate plan.

An out-of-state story shows how when an individual conducts no estate planning, he leaves behind lots of work for those responsible for managing his remaining assets. A Nevada man died and left behind an unannounced cache of assets. He created a will, nor left any explicit instructions on how these assets are to be distributed.

This compels local officials involved with such a discovery to launch what might amount to a costly and exhaustive search for the next of kin. In this case, a cousin of a man whom she barely knew discovered that his death resulted in a great benefit for her. She inherited an estimated $7.4 million worth of gold and coins.

It took time and effort, as well as weeding through false claims from supposed family members for authorities to find the rightful heir of the hidden fortune. The decedent was a recluse who had hidden his riches throughout his home. When his death was announced as well as the fact that he had a stockpile of gold in his home, many people came forward claiming to be a long-lost relative of the man.

There are a myriad of inheritance tax laws and other regulations for which any potential heir like this woman will need legal and financial assistance. This professional assistance is needed to conserve the most amount of assets after the government gets its share. Plus, she might want to work with an attorney to create an estate plan so that her death wouldn't result in the chaos that her cousin's did.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Arlene Magdon, Distant Relative Of Dead Recluse Walter Samasko Jr., Heir To $7 Million Found In Garage," Dec. 14, 2012

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