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The High Cost of Failing to Plan

Steve McNair earned a reported $75 million during his 13 seasons with the Titans, and yet apparently died without a will. While it is unknown what his current estate is worth, it is almost certainly worth many millions. Under current estate tax law, the first $3.5 million of his estate going to persons other than his spouse is exempt from Federal estate taxes, and the first $1 million is exempt from Tennessee state estate tax.  As an intestate estate probated under Tennessee law, 1/3 of his estate will fall under the unlimited spousal estate tax exemption, but to the extent that the remaining 2/3 of his estate exceeds $1 million and 3.5 million, his estate will owe state and federal estate taxes of nearly 50%.  Had he drafted a will using a competent estate planning attorney, this estate loss could have been totally eliminated by leaving his entire estate to his wife, either in trust or outright.  His failure to plan will likely cost his loved ones millions.  On the brighter side, his family's loss is the IRS's gain. If you need to plan your estate, we are here to help.  Please feel free to call or email me if you have questions or I can assist with any of your estate planning needs. 

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