Mississippi Estate Planning Considerations
Mississippi is a Common Law State, which means the rules governing the ownership, division, and inheritance of income and property acquired by a husband or wife during their marriage hold that subject to various qualifications, each spouse owns and has complete control over their own her income and property.
Last Will and Testament
The minimum age of a person competent to make a will is 18. The number of witnesses necessary to execute a will is two.
The original custodial gift may be a life insurance policy or annuity contract.
Custodial property may be invested in or used to pay premiums on (1) a policy on the minor’s life if the minor’s estate is the sole beneficiary, or (2) a policy on a third party in whom the child has an insurable interest if the minor or the custodian is the irrevocable beneficiary.
The custodial arrangement terminates when:
- The minor child reaches age 21 for custodial transfers made by irrevocable lifetime gift, will, trust, or exercise of a power of appointment.
- The minor child reaches age 18 for other custodial transfers.
- The minor child dies.
Dying without a Last Will, the Mississippi laws of Intestacy.
The estate goes to the surviving spouse, as follows:
- If there are no children or descendants, —100% of the estate
- If there are surviving children or descendants—a “child’s part” of the estate
If there is no surviving spouse, or if a portion of the estate does not go to the spouse:
- 100% to children and their descendants in equal parts, with the descendants of a deceased child or grandchild taking the deceased parent’s share in equal parts among them. The statute does not define how shares are distributed, but authority exists for per stirpes. See, In re Griffin’s Will, 411 So. 2d 766, 769‐70 (1982).
If there is no surviving spouse or descendant:
- 100% to siblings and parents and descendants of siblings in equal parts, with the descendants of a sibling taking the share of a deceased parent in equal parts among them (per stirpes, as described and cited above)
If none of the above:
- Intestacy laws outline further distribution steps to the level of grandparents, next of kin, and their descendants. See Miss. Code §91‐1‐3.
- If no legally described recipient can be found, estate assets go to the state of Mississippi.
Mississippi follows the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act to ensure that testators can retain control of their digital property and plan for its ultimate disposition.
Mississippi does not impose an inheritance tax.
Credit Estate Tax
Mississippi imposes an estate tax equal to the maximum credit allowed under the federal tax code for paid state estate and inheritance taxes under IRC Sec. 2011. However, the current federal tax code does not permit a credit for paid state estate or inheritance taxes. Therefore, there is no credit estate tax in effect at this time.
Mississippi does not impose a Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax.
Mississippi does not impose a gift tax.