August 8, 2017

Estate Administration: Seven Kingdoms Edition Episode Three

In Episode 2, we discussed an estate planning strategy for Tywin Lannister that brought his sons, Jamie and Tyrion, back together in Casterly Rock.  What happened during the administration of the estate to reunite the two estranged brothers?  We know Tywin took measures to cover the estate tax bill, but did he plan properly for the management of his estate?

After Tywin’s death, Jamie makes the journey to Casterly Rock to retrieve his father’s will, and begin administration of the estate.  Soon after a very elaborate funeral – as Tywin instructed in his will – Jamie hires an estate attorney to begin the probate and titling processes, and an experienced CPA to assist in the administration of the estate.  The CPA obtains an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for the estate, and Jamie then opens a separate bank account to pay all remaining debts of his father’s estate.  The attorney and the CPA work with Jamie to identify and assess each of Tywin’s assets (including valuations for real estate and personal property), and file a life insurance claim from the Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust Tywin created during his lifetime.  Once the assets and their respective values are determined, the attorney files an inventory list with the appropriate courts, and contacts the CPA to begin preparation of the estate tax return.  After the filing, processing, and acceptance of the return (likely to include a thorough examination), Jamie is now able to distribute the assets in accordance with his father’s will, and close the estate.  Not without a fight, of course.

Tyrion is to receive $50,000 from his father’s estate, Jamie will inherit the residual assets, and Cersei is left with nothing, because “she knows why.”  Being the vengeful vigilante that she is, Cersei sends her most ferocious assailant, The Mountain, on a mission to destroy Casterly Rock, just prior to the settling of her father’s estate.  Luckily, Tyrion anticipates his sister’s maneuver, and The Mountain is defeated before any damage is done.  Jamie is most grateful since, as executor, he is held personally responsible for the safekeeping of the assets until distributed.  As a token of his appreciation, Jamie contributes his newly inherited asset, Casterly Rock, into a Family Limited Partnership that he and Tyrion created, and not only names his brother the managing partner, but gifts to him an increased ownership in the partnership over time, as well.

Surviving in the Seven Kingdoms is tricky, but estate administration doesn’t have to be.  Let Maddox Thomson help to make this a straightforward and painless process.