SMART MONEY: Inheritance is earmarked for next generation
DEAR BRUCE: I have recently inherited $50,000. I would like to leave it to my children and grandchildren. I will not need this money, and it came from my side of the family. My husband won’t need it if I should die before him. How can I do this? — J.S., via email
DEAR J.S.: You can leave the money in your will. However, you may not cut your husband out of the will. Where the money came from is not important. Each state’s laws vary regarding what must be left to a spouse, but no matter what, you will not be able to cut your husband out of the will concerning the $50,000.
Since you and your husband don’t need the money, you ought to consult an attorney and have an agreement drawn up so the money would bypass him if you pass away before he does.
DEAR BRUCE: I always pay my bills online through my bank. Two weeks before my credit card payment was due, I made the payment. When my statement came the next month, I was surprised there was a late fee for the previous month. When I called my bank, they told me that it had been done as I requested, two weeks in advance. My credit card company, however, claims they received the payment three days late, or 17 days after I had submitted it online.
Since I am a good customer and have always paid my bill on time, I did get them to reimburse the late fee. I have had this card for several years and am planning on canceling the card. My question is, will this affect my credit? — Reader, via email
DEAR READER: I am wondering why you are canceling the card.
Hopefully, not because of this minor error, which has been corrected.
Assuming you cancel the card, it very well may reduce your credit score a few points, but that’s a relatively modest amount and a temporary proposition. Do you have others to cover you if you need such an accommodation? On balance, if you have had the account for a decent period of time, I would seriously consider not using it, if that’s your intention, but I would not cancel it.
Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions of general interest will be answered in future columns. Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.
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