Sign in to follow this  
Cal20sailor

Where there's a Will...

Recommended Posts

I'm hoping someone can help point me in the right direction.  I'm 62, divorced, and have no kids.  My net worth is much too large to not have a will and I don't.  99% of it is in my condo, and two brokerage accounts.  I have 3 nephews/nieces that are now starting their own families and I'd like my monies to pay for their kids college.  What's the cheapest, simplest, most painless way to come up with a will.  I have heard about on line services but no experience.  

Any help would be greatly appreciated.  I have heard estimates of 500-1000 to do this through a lawyer but my estate is so simple that a lawyer seems overkill.  Do I set up trusts for each nephew/niece?  

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where there's a will, there's a relative.

Get something put down in writing and get a lawyer to ensure it cannot be circumvented by squabbling rellies after you are gone.

Or you can leave it all to me, I'll look after it, honest:D

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hope it doesn’t happen soon but death can bring out the worst in people 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, ROADKILL666 said:

Hope it doesn’t happen soon but death can bring out the worst in people 

Yeahe, they stinke!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, ROADKILL666 said:

Hope it doesn’t happen soon but death can bring out the worst in people 

Trying to avoid probate.  Anything constructive to add?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Snaggletooth said:

Yeahe, they stinke!     image.png

 

Seriously, get an attorney.  That is the most likely means of avoiding a cluster.


 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Snore said:

Seriously, get an attorney.  That is the most likely means of avoiding a cluster.

 

What Snore said!!  And consider also a 'living will", in case you don't want to be resuscitated, to live a vegetables existence, until you finally pass.  Wife and I did both years ago...  What's a couple hundred bucks to make sure your wishes are followed, when you are gone....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Retirement accounts have beneficiaries which avoids probate.  Non-retirement accounts can set up a Transfer on Death agreement which will avoid probate.  For the Condo I would set up a trust vs. a will.  You can set up a 529 College fund for the nieces/nephews now or via the trust upon death.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In some countries, it can be more tax-efficient (for the beneficiaries) to pass wealth while the donor is alive, as a gift rather than an inheritance.

You could consider this.

Another advantage is that you get to sort out the squabbles yourself.

Either way, as was said up-thread, write your wishes down then have a legal eagle formalise them.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Black Sox said:

In some countries, it can be more tax-efficient (for the beneficiaries) to pass wealth while the donor is alive, as a gift rather than an inheritance.

You could consider this.

Another advantage is that you get to sort out the squabbles yourself.

Either way, as was said up-thread, write your wishes down then have a legal eagle formalise them.

Similar to this, you could open college savings accounts (529H or other so it increases in value over time) in the childrens names.  In Michigan, the MESP is a good 529H to invest in and you can deduct up to $5K from your state taxes (individual filer) or $10K (joint filer).  You could also put this into a trust account for added security, if needed.

 I believe that in US you can gift each individual tax free up to $15K per year.  The way college expenses are increasing in the US, they will need as much time as possible to accrue the necessary funds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, rwinder said:

Retirement accounts have beneficiaries which avoids probate.  Non-retirement accounts can set up a Transfer on Death agreement which will avoid probate.  For the Condo I would set up a trust vs. a will.  You can set up a 529 College fund for the nieces/nephews now or via the trust upon death.

this.  then put it down in a will such that your named executor understands it

and remember that the goal is to avoid taxes - ie basis reset, not necessarily probate

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Cal20sailor said:

I'm hoping someone can help point me in the right direction.  I'm 62, divorced, and have no kids.  My net worth is much too large to not have a will and I don't.  99% of it is in my condo, and two brokerage accounts.  I have 3 nephews/nieces that are now starting their own families and I'd like my monies to pay for their kids college.  What's the cheapest, simplest, most painless way to come up with a will.  I have heard about on line services but no experience.  

Any help would be greatly appreciated.  I have heard estimates of 500-1000 to do this through a lawyer but my estate is so simple that a lawyer seems overkill.  Do I set up trusts for each nephew/niece?  

Thanks!

Use a lawyer who specializes in these things  The money it costs will pay itself back eventually. Don’t go to just any lawyer, use one who handles trusts, wills, elder law type stuff. You might not be elderly now, but when this needs to be enforced you will have been. 

When selling homes some trust’s and deeds I saw drawn up as a favor or by a lawyer who didn’t normally do them that caused so much trouble and headache. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, chinabald said:

Use a lawyer who specializes in these things  The money it costs will pay itself back eventually.

Yes. The cheapest way by far is to hire a professional now. Not just any old sack of shit lawyer with glossy ads on city busses either. A proper respected one. Might cost a few thou. Well worth it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spending $1500 now will save your estate tens of thousands in taxes, costs, and administrative fees later. 

Typically someone in your situation would be looking at a well-crafted spillover trust that disposes of the vast majority of your assets without tax liability.   You can do it yourself, but you'll probably fuck it up.   Alternatively, if you're smart enough to do the research, you can do most of the work yourself and then hire a lawyer to review it with you.  Search for legal journal articles in your state on the function of inter vivos trusts, revocable and irrevocable trusts, spillover trusts, and estate planning.  Ignore the blog posts written by law firms, they are designed to make it seem a bit more complicated than it is.    But it is not that simple.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, MR.CLEAN said:

Ignore the blog posts written by law firms, they are designed to make it seem a bit more complicated than it is.    But it is not that simple.

Wait a hot skink'n minute!   I thought all I needed were the hallowed pages here on SA to solve any legal issue?

Is this not true?

What have I done!!!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MR.CLEAN said:

Spending $1500 now will save your estate tens of thousands in taxes, costs, and administrative fees later. 

Typically someone in your situation would be looking at a well-crafted spillover trust that disposes of the vast majority of your assets without tax liability.   You can do it yourself, but you'll probably fuck it up.   Alternatively, if you're smart enough to do the research, you can do most of the work yourself and then hire a lawyer to review it with you.  Search for legal journal articles in your state on the function of inter vivos trusts, revocable and irrevocable trusts, spillover trusts, and estate planning.  Ignore the blog posts written by law firms, they are designed to make it seem a bit more complicated than it is.    But it is not that simple.

This....trust 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Snore said:

Seriously, get an attorney.  That is the most likely means of avoiding a cluster.

pay attention Cal .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would find a bald-headed lawyer who smokes pot everyday and is part of the international media. Apparently they know what they're talking about.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is my line of work. I advise wealthy families on investments as well as legacy planning (but don't do legal work)

Talk to three friends, get three attorney referrals. Make sure each is board certified in estate planning. If one of them isn't, get another name.

For a Living Trust with these rather straightforward goals, you should have no problem getting them to commit to a fixed price. Someone who gives you a good feeling and a good price is who you should use.

Some lawyers charge by the pound for this shit and I've seen some documents take 60 pages to do what 12 would easily accomplish.

One decision you will have to make is who will be the trustee after you are still alive but unable to manage your own affairs. This is a great advantage of a trust because, trust me, Powers of Attorney are a pain in the ass. A successor trustee properly documented, will be able to manage your affairs and do for you, what you would do for yourself if you were able.

Needless to say this person needs to be absolutely trust worthy. As a former bank trust officer I will say that paying a bank to do it is not a bad idea. You get trust administration and investment management for what many investment managers would charge just for investments. And if they FUCK UP they can be sued!

You need to be very careful how you word the trust because the bank will always take the most conservative position in interpreting the language. Seriously, don't accept the boilerplate "Health, Education, Maintenance and Support" language. That's a good starting point, but you need to get more detailed than that.

For example, would you want the trust to buy a car for a beneficiary to provide transportation needs as part of their college expenses? If you don't spell it out, no one will know.

You will, of course, be the initial trustee. Just don't forget that you need to transfer everything into the trust or there will still have to be probate. Bank accounts can be left in your name but need to have a Transfer on Death provision naming the trust. Real Property should be put in trust right away.

Feel free to PM me if you wish.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I gotta say, this place is getting soft.

No "blow it on hookers and blow"

or no invitation to meet Mrs El Boracho's really cute friend?

The guy is 62 and has some cash! Live it up man!

 

(and yeah, I have it all wrapped up in a Trust, with multiple levels of trustees,etc, etc. Cost me maybe $3k about 7-8 years ago. I know I need to get it tuned up)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Cal20sailor said:

I'm hoping someone can help point me in the right direction.  I'm 62, divorced, and have no kids.  My net worth is much too large to not have a will and I don't.  99% of it is in my condo, and two brokerage accounts.  I have 3 nephews/nieces that are now starting their own families and I'd like my monies to pay for their kids college.  What's the cheapest, simplest, most painless way to come up with a will.  I have heard about on line services but no experience.  

Any help would be greatly appreciated.  I have heard estimates of 500-1000 to do this through a lawyer but my estate is so simple that a lawyer seems overkill.  Do I set up trusts for each nephew/niece?  

Thanks!

Get a lawyer. There are lots of them in Detroit who will make sure it's not screwed up. Typical issue: you have x number of nieces and nephews and they each get a percentage. What happens if the number of beneficiaries  changes and you fail to update your wishes?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, Dorado said:

I would find a bald-headed, ex-sailing forum commentator,  lawyer who smokes pot everyday and is part of the international media. Apparently they know what they're talking about.

 

FIFY, M8!  :D:ph34r:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Cal20sailor said:

I'm hoping someone can help point me in the right direction.  I'm 62, divorced, and have no kids.  My net worth is much too large to not have a will and I don't.  99% of it is in my condo, and two brokerage accounts.  I have 3 nephews/nieces that are now starting their own families and I'd like my monies to pay for their kids college.  What's the cheapest, simplest, most painless way to come up with a will.  I have heard about on line services but no experience.  

Any help would be greatly appreciated.  I have heard estimates of 500-1000 to do this through a lawyer but my estate is so simple that a lawyer seems overkill.  Do I set up trusts for each nephew/niece?  

Thanks!

You came to the right place...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Cal20sailor said:

I'm hoping someone can help point me in the right direction.  I'm 62, divorced, and have no kids.  My net worth is much too large to not have a will and I don't.  99% of it is in my condo, and two brokerage accounts.  I have 3 nephews/nieces that are now starting their own families and I'd like my monies to pay for their kids college.  What's the cheapest, simplest, most painless way to come up with a will.  I have heard about on line services but no experience.  

Any help would be greatly appreciated.  I have heard estimates of 500-1000 to do this through a lawyer but my estate is so simple that a lawyer seems overkill.  Do I set up trusts for each nephew/niece?  

Thanks!

go to your brokerage, setup  inherited IRAs   ,   not sure if your accounts are  pre-tax or post tax..   with the new law , they will have 10 years to drain the account if pre-tax and pay income tax on it... but if they're in school, it won't be that big a hit..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Cal20sailor said:

I'm hoping someone can help point me in the right direction.  I'm 62, divorced, and have no kids.  My net worth is much too large to not have a will and I don't.  99% of it is in my condo, and two brokerage accounts.  I have 3 nephews/nieces that are now starting their own families and I'd like my monies to pay for their kids college.  What's the cheapest, simplest, most painless way to come up with a will.  I have heard about on line services but no experience.  

Any help would be greatly appreciated.  I have heard estimates of 500-1000 to do this through a lawyer but my estate is so simple that a lawyer seems overkill.  Do I set up trusts for each nephew/niece?  

Thanks!

No.  You create a living trust, and you move the assets into that trust.  The trust specifies that on your death X% of your estate is transferred to each child, or if they are still a minor, to the parent to be held for the child.

You want a lawyer for this.

In addition, it's smart to begin giving the maximum gift now, into something like an education 509 etc (if your state has those).  Max out your free gift each year.  Less will left in your estate to 'squabble' over, especially if it's big enough that it might get hit by some type of tax on your death.

If you have as much money as you're suggesting, getting a CPA to help with your planning is smart too.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Use a lawyer they exist for a reason.

Don't make family or friends the executor - guaranteed to rip families apart. Use a pro for that too.

You can't avoid some costs associated with dying - funerals and estates being the biggies.

The only way to avoid paying some money for estate distribution is to accept that you will almost certainly destroy the relationships of the beneficiaries.

If you care about them enough to leave them your money make sure you don't do that to them.

Besides, you'll be dead so what do you care about expenses?

Every estate I've had any knowledge of had some ugliness rear its head - the ones that got past it were the professionally handled ones. All the others ripped families apart. My MIL made my BIL the POA and executor. My wife and he haven't spoken since the funeral and never will.

I've seen many like that.

USE PRO'S.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Communicate your intentions. If nephew/niece receive all of your estate let them or your siblings know. If you have other bequests included communicate that,  ot will save amgst.  You do not need to reveal $ amounts if you have any reason not to.  But  a "Joey, Johnny and Julie each get 1/4 and the (pick your charity)gets 1/4 AFTER taxes and fees" statement clarifies expectations. Your final tax return happens long after you are gone. Your designated trustee will need some legal counsel  even if you avoid probate altogether. I suspect your aim is to try and prevent any squabbling over the legacy ypu leave behimd.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Cal20sailor said:

Trying to avoid probate.  Anything constructive to add?

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, possible text that says 'I'M GIVING YOU A A WET WILLIE'

ya know if he combed his hair back

he kinda looks like "That" Santa :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Living Trust or appropriate variation depending on professional advice, your description of assets sound pretty straight forward.

My dad had a living trust with one of my sisters as executor of the estate, her husband is an attorney as my other sister's is as well. When my dad downsized about 10-12 years before he passed at age 93 , he documented all possessions he wanted to go to each of us by name along with a  complete inventory of the rest of his stuff that he circulated  among the 4 of us and which picked items of interest and traded and bartered the final list. His Trust had all his financial assets divided in equal quarters with the stipulation that anyone disputing or contesting  the Trust their share would be lost and the estate divided by 3 :D:D:D. Everything went smoothly and checks were distributed  about 4 months after his death. The executor had to chase a few details and minor accounts with my dads accountant before everything was wrapped up.

IMO a Trust is well worth the up front cost even for a simple estate

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, BravoBravo said:

When my dad down sized about 10-12 years before he passed at age 93 , document all possessions he wanted to go to each of us then had a complete inventory of the rest that he circulated  among the 4 of us and which picked items of interest and traded and bartered the final list.

It was at this point that 8 kids and 12 grandchildren  really didnt want alot of mom's nice China,  furniture,  Silver or Jewelry.  No squabbles.:D

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, warbird said:

It was at this point that 8 kids and 12 grandchildren  really didnt want alot of mom's nice China,  furniture,  Silver or Jewelry.  No squabbles.:D

 

LOL...yeah but we pretty much took everything and much of it is still in the sames boxes they were put in almost 20 years ago...some of his personal stuff has the most meaning to me. I have a leather case my dad sewed to hold his sailing knife...stuff like that is special to me.

I had a fit of medical depression pounce upon me  last summer. I was looking for something in my detached 2 car garage which has always been my home workshop. Anyway out of the blue I realize that all these prized possessions, a lifetime of boat building tools , that had so much meaning to me. I could look at each and remember how happy I was when I bought it and the projects I did with each. Then the depression stuck and that was that none of this would have any meaning or use to either of my sons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, warbird said:

It was at this point that 8 kids and 12 grandchildren  really didnt want alot of mom's nice China,  furniture,  Silver or Jewelry.  No squabbles.:D

 

 

1 minute ago, BravoBravo said:

LOL...yeah but we pretty much took everything and much of it is still in the sames boxes they were put in almost 20 years ago...some of his personal stuff has the most meaning to me. I have a leather case my dad sewed to hold his sailing knife...stuff like that is special to me

Mom did some very nice watercolors. Some are scattered to siblings. The remaining ones were claimed early but very nice copies on quality stock were made amd framed for anyone who wanted one.  There were enough "momemtos" go around. The boxed up stuff went to charities right away. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some pretty good feedback here. Especially about using pros. I settled Mom's estate and have a great relationship with my sister just because I used to do it for a living, knew what to expect, and over-communicated on everything. Most people don't do that and the family members not handling the estate get distrustful when they ask questions and get evasive or equivocal answers. Usually, it's because the answer isn't known...yet. But if you go out of your way to over-communicate, things really can't go too badly.

Then there's the story of my cousin who handled my Great Aunt's trust after her husband died. I think the final figure was $3 million that he stole from her. And he is an estate planning lawyer!  So yeah, think long and hard about hiring professional trustees to follow after you. I've seen mutual hatred of the bank be a unifying force for a family! :D

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm just going to add that OnTheHard is waaaay understating his credentials. I happen to know some his clients, and they are among the Olde Moneye  families of Texas. The guy is at the top of the top shelf. I'll likely call him myself in a couple of years.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, On The Hard said:

Some pretty good feedback here. Especially about using pros. I settled Mom's estate and have a great relationship with my sister just because I used to do it for a living, knew what to expect, and over-communicated on everything. Most people don't do that and the family members not handling the estate get distrustful when they ask questions and get evasive or equivocal answers. Usually, it's because the answer isn't known...yet. But if you go out of your way to over-communicate, things really can't go too badly.

Then there's the story of my cousin who handled my Great Aunt's trust after her husband died. I think the final figure was $3 million that he stole from her. And he is an estate planning lawyer!  So yeah, think long and hard about hiring professional trustees to follow after you. I've seen mutual hatred of the bank be a unifying force for a family! :D

I'm of counsel to a firm in another state founded by a good friend.  his brother did the same thing with over $11M from his mom's estate, and then died with nothing but a life insurance policy and a huge debt to my friend and the money nowhere to be found.  

It pretty much bankrupted him.  He has been a top attorney for 40 years but instead of retiring and owning a sports team, he is back to grinding at age 74.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Cal20sailor said:

I'm hoping someone can help point me in the right direction.  I'm 62, divorced, and have no kids.  My net worth is much too large to not have a will and I don't.  99% of it is in my condo, and two brokerage accounts.  I have 3 nephews/nieces that are now starting their own families and I'd like my monies to pay for their kids college.  What's the cheapest, simplest, most painless way to come up with a will.  I have heard about on line services but no experience.  

Any help would be greatly appreciated.  I have heard estimates of 500-1000 to do this through a lawyer but my estate is so simple that a lawyer seems overkill.  Do I set up trusts for each nephew/niece?  

Thanks!

Talk to friends and family. Then an independent attorney and write a trust that can meter out the $$$$ to what you like........................................................................................................... Do not talk to any attorney's on this site......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tell the kids that if there is anything left at the end. . . I have just miscalculated.

it's been difficult for us anticipate their future disbursements.  One son just sold his company for $30,000,000 (USD,) and the other and his family are essentially living hand to mouth.

Actually we have relied on our financial planner and our attorneys for advice and feel very comfortable with their results.  Some our our assets are in California, and you want to avoid probate there at any cost.  Trusts are your friend.  Make the decisions NOW with professionals.

My wife's mother was a prolific artist, and we had the kids put a note on the back of each of her paintings to indicate which one the loved.  It was very civilized.

I'd like to post more, but we are off to a small fishing village on the West Coast of Mexico in the morning for 5 weeks, our 20th year.  

Adios

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Cruisin Loser said:

I'm just going to add that OnTheHard is waaaay understating his credentials. I happen to know some his clients, and they are among the Olde Moneye  families of Texas. The guy is at the top of the top shelf. I'll likely call him myself in a couple of years.

Call him now....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, view at the front said:

I tell the kids that if there is anything left at the end. . . I have just miscalculated.

it's been difficult for us anticipate their future disbursements.  One son just sold his company for $30,000,000 (USD,) and the other and his family are essentially living hand to mouth.

Actually we have relied on our financial planner and our attorneys for advice and feel very comfortable with their results.  Some our our assets are in California, and you want to avoid probate there at any cost.  Trusts are your friend.  Make the decisions NOW with professionals.

My wife's mother was a prolific artist, and we had the kids put a note on the back of each of her paintings to indicate which one the loved.  It was very civilized.

I'd like to post more, but we are off to a small fishing village on the West Coast of Mexico in the morning for 5 weeks, our 20th year.  

Adios

 

A "good" print shop can make very good art work copies. They copy, adjust the color tone and copy again. Several times until perfect.  Rhwn they can print on very nice textured stock. The first run is expensive but worth it if you desire the copy. The subsequent copies , already matched are cheap. One good color matched copy of mom's "Barnyard in snow" was $150. Each additional "push the button" copy was $25 or $30. Good deal when you have 7 siblings who want a copy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, warbird said:

A "good" print shop can make very good art work copies. They copy, adjust the color tone and copy again. Several times until perfect.  Rhwn they can print on very nice textured stock. The first run is expensive but worth it if you desire the copy. The subsequent copies , already matched are cheap. One good color matched copy of mom's "Barnyard in snow" was $150. Each additional "push the button" copy was $25 or $30. Good deal when you have 7 siblings who want a copy.

These were great textured acrylics that are amazing.  The copies can be great, but not quite like the originals.  We cherish her originals when we visit each other, and actually share them with each other.  We visited her sister, and one of her paintings was on the wall of their garage behind the door, just beside a signed photo of George W Bush. . . it was hard for me to contain myself.  Hyphenated words came to mind.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, view at the front said:

These were great textured acrylics that are amazing.  The copies can be great, but not quite like the originals.  We cherish her originals when we visit each other, and actually share them with each other.  We visited her sister, and one of her paintings was on the wall of their garage behind the door, just beside a signed photo of George W Bush. . . it was hard for me to contain myself.  Hyphenated words came to mind.

 

Politics aside:D, you might  be amazed at the quality of copies a good printshop can do. It is worthwhile to look into. It was worthwhile to us. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ditto all of the good advice above on trusts designed and executed by competent professionals.  Had a relative pass away some years ago with just a basic will and considerable assets.  Lawyers and taxes ate more than half of the estate—and that was with nobody contesting anything.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/24/2020 at 9:33 PM, warbird said:

Politics aside:D, you might  be amazed at the quality of copies a good printshop can do. It is worthwhile to look into. It was worthwhile to us. 

We had a painting at the family lake house that had been painted by a notable early Texas artist. I looked into insuring it and when I heard what it was worth, decided to sell it. (Paid for fencing off the property from the God Damned F''ing Hogs, as well as other meaningful repairs!) The guy who sold it for us had it reproduced and down to the texture of the canvas, you'd have a damned hard time knowing it wasn't original. I think somewhere my mother is smiling. (Either that or complaining to the angels that she taught me better than to EVER sell an Onderdonk original!)  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/24/2020 at 9:29 AM, Dorado said:

I would find a bald-headed lawyer who smokes pot everyday and is part of the international media. Apparently they know what they're talking about.

Needs a pink flag tho...  Pink headband??  :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/24/2020 at 4:42 AM, Navig8tor said:

Where there's a will, there's a relative.

Get something put down in writing and get a lawyer to ensure it cannot be circumvented by squabbling rellies after you are gone.

Or you can leave it all to me, I'll look after it, honest:D

If you lived in Illinois, I've got the right attorney for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Certainly a revocable trust is the way to go (IMHOP). Get a financial advisor to advise you, and then a lawyer to draw up the trust. The trust can be used to fund any needs you have, and upon your passing, will be deeded over to the inheritors with no probate needed (if it's set up correctly).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do it right, get a good lawyer to make sure $$$$$$$ or where you want, or wise it could go in probate , and then there will be people contesting it and who knows where it will go and to who.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/24/2020 at 10:03 PM, The great unwashed said:

Ditto all of the good advice above on trusts designed and executed by competent professionals.  Had a relative pass away some years ago with just a basic will and considerable assets.  Lawyers and taxes ate more than half of the estate—and that was with nobody contesting anything.

Amen.

My late in-laws set up a revocable trust to handle things that were not outright willed to a family member.  Don’t know what attorney they used, but being  children of the Depression they did it on the cheap.  Took close to five years to get it all sorted out including IRS involvement.  No one contested anything.  My poor sister-in-law must have aged 20 years in getting it all settled.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Set up a trust with each kid named with a specified amount or percentage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One nice gift to give your neices and nephews, is find a young and committed estate attorney in a fun location, ideally close to your condo or boat.

Then in fifty-whatever years when you move onto that perfectly timed monohull beer run in the great beyond, your loved-ones can choose to use the same guy to do the execution of the will whom you picked to prepare it. 

Even better ... you and your lawyer do a bunch of crazy adventures together so he can tell your loved ones about that time that he and you ran from the Mexican Federales while smuggling sixty pounds of string bikinis in the lazaret, for the Yanqui women.

They can stay at your condo, during the attorney meeting days, party hard and remember their generous uncle. With all those kids to toast to your memory, you're never gonna die, dude.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, mikewof said:

They can stay at your condo, during the attorney meeting days, party hard and remember their generous uncle. With all those kids to toast to your memory, you're never gonna die, dude.

Only the good die young.......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/24/2020 at 7:43 AM, Snore said:

 

Seriously, get an attorney.  That is the most likely means of avoiding a cluster.


 

To avoid probate, you might want to get two attorneys.

One, an estate planning attorney, will explain that you can put that condo in a revocable trust to avoid probate.

Another, an attorney with experience with title companies may come along to explain that state law took that condo out of the trust and put it back in your name personally upon your death.

Then a clever girl at a title company may misuse a form intended for those who died intestate to let your heirs sell the property without going through probate, which the above-mentioned state law would seem to require.

That is, if you're a Florida man.

But enough from my list of things I know, but should not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had time before mom passed. Eldest Sis , executrix, engaged counsel immediately to clarify her duties,  the completeness or lack there of  on the trust documents. The tax ramifications (mostly deceased final return) and any other issues. This all happened months before mom passed and all steps were communicated to all 8 siblings. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Plenipotentiary Tom said:

To avoid probate, you might want to get two attorneys.

One, an estate planning attorney, will explain that you can put that condo in a revocable trust to avoid probate.

Another, an attorney with experience with title companies may come along to explain that state law took that condo out of the trust and put it back in your name personally upon your death.

Then a clever girl at a title company may misuse a form intended for those who died intestate to let your heirs sell the property without going through probate, which the above-mentioned state law would seem to require.

That is, if you're a Florida man.

But enough from my list of things I know, but should not.

There is a legal remedy called "Muniment of Title" that allows for an unprobated will to be filed in the property records as evidence of ownership transfer. At least in Texas. It's far from ideal and you still have to get the judge to declare the will to be valid, but if you screw up and leave a probate asset behind, it CAN avoid having to do a full estate administration. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/27/2020 at 6:14 PM, On The Hard said:

Onderdonk 

Most apt name for a Texas artist ever?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Plenipotentiary Tom said:

To avoid probate, you might want to get two attorneys.

One, an estate planning attorney, will explain that you can put that condo in a revocable trust to avoid probate.

Another, an attorney with experience with title companies may come along to explain that state law took that condo out of the trust and put it back in your name personally upon your death.

what state law?  That sounds like an interesting one.  Never heard of a law that can automatically transfer a dead person's property without their prior consent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Maryland, probate is required if the decadent had any property in their name only.  I think we have 2 boats and 3 trailers plus the sailboat and one car left that we haven't "fixed" yet as SWMBO wasn't available to sign paperwork when I titled them. As we get rid of things and replace them, we have put everything in joint names.  

My mom died a Texas resident and we thought we had everything in place to avoid probate.  Then an investment company that she had an account with went bankrupt and the Trustee's legal folks decided that the beneficiary  forms on file were not legally sufficient and refused to honor them.  That one account out of the entire estate sent it to probate.  Cost about $3000 and several months to take care of that.

I will also tell you that the IRS will viciously and tenaciously come after assets if they believe the decedent owed anything .  Mom had a part time housekeeper and properly paid "nanny taxes" as an "employer".  Somehow the IRS missed the "final return" filed before her death when she went into an extended care facility.  So they came after the family for a large estimated tax bill, penalties and interest.  They aggressively pressed the "interest is accruing daily" angle to force payment.   Made it clear that it was our problem to prove the return had been filed.  Once i provided the copy (took about a month to find it) that sent a form letter than the investigation was closed.  Make sure your tax returns and the like are where you executor can find them.  

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, MR.CLEAN said:

what state law?  That sounds like an interesting one.  Never heard of a law that can automatically transfer a dead person's property without their prior consent.

They called it an "illegal devise." Or maybe it was "improper devise?"

I don't have the law and don't feel like looking it up, but it was explained to me that FL law doesn't allow the marital homestead to remain in a trust once one spouse dies. So almost everything that we thought was in his trust actually was, but not the house.

The title company tried to explain it, followed by two lawyers. The third lawyer finally made it all sorta make sense to me.

Because this change made my brothers and me into potential heirs to the property, we all had to sign Quit Claim deeds at the closing when we sold their old house.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Plenipotentiary Tom said:

They called it an "illegal devise." Or maybe it was "improper devise?"

I don't have the law and don't feel like looking it up, but it was explained to me that FL law doesn't allow the marital homestead to remain in a trust once one spouse dies. So almost everything that we thought was in his trust actually was, but not the house.

The title company tried to explain it, followed by two lawyers. The third lawyer finally made it all sorta make sense to me.

Because this change made my brothers and me into potential heirs to the property, we all had to sign Quit Claim deeds at the closing when we sold their old house.

if you have no idea what you are talking about you probably shouldn't offer it as an example of anything.  These laws are not particularly complicated to understand, and Florida certainly honors trusts if they are set up properly.

It sounds to me as though at least one attorney committed malpractice.  Hopefully the estate was not impacted much, and if so, it sued the attorney for his errors.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, MR.CLEAN said:

if you have no idea what you are talking about you probably shouldn't offer it as an example of anything.  These laws are not particularly complicated to understand, and Florida certainly honors trusts if they are set up properly.

It sounds to me as though at least one attorney committed malpractice.  Hopefully the estate was not impacted much, and if so, it sued the attorney for his errors.

 

I never said FL doesn't honor trusts. In fact, the statement that almost everything that we thought was in his trust actually was, but not the house, should have clued you into that fact.

But I do know what I'm talking about when it comes to what happened in my life, and FL law doesn't allow the marital homestead to remain in a trust when a spouse dies. So it didn't.

One attorney committed almostno practice. The title co's legal dept was no help. Our family's attorney told me stuff that was flat wrong (eg, saying an irrevocable trust could not be reformed) and I fired him. The next one got it right.

Other than causing some confusion when the title company sent me an email asking for a copy of my dad's will and then sent a document asking my mother to swear he died without a will, it didn't impact our family at all. We wanted to sell the house and we did. I still have all the docs and can send them to you if you think I'm wrong about what happened, assuming you'd promise to keep them confidential.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Legal Zoom is what we used. Everything in both names. When last one dies, remaining one does not give a fuck about beneficiaries fighting. That's on them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do not want to drift to "Mortuary Anarchy" except to suggest that a visit might be beneficial.  Regareless of the cost/services rendered/common practices , a visit will gove you an idea  where costs can go. Further, locally a Funeral home offered a prepaid plan which was really just an insurance policy.  But, get this, it was transferable to other non affiliated Funeral homes.  So the kids or family decide to have a destination funeral,  family homeatead funeral or whatever, a large part is already paid leaving less problems for the executor.  One detail I discovered is that everybody wants a " certified death certificate" . Life insurance, brokerages,  mutual funds, mortgage holders, car loans etc. In my locale requesting 1 certified is a fee of $25. Each additional is $2 or $3. Get extra copies to save the $25 front end fee. Fortunately I was able to do these things with my mom while she was still healthy and she could be amused at the details of her demise. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/8/2020 at 8:13 PM, Plenipotentiary Tom said:

 

it didn't impact our family at all. 

Glad to hear that, and glad you got rid of the bad lawyer.  What lessons can you share from your experience that may help others?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/8/2020 at 8:27 PM, NeedAClew said:

Legal Zoom is what we used. Everything in both names. When last one dies, remaining one does not give a fuck about beneficiaries fighting. That's on them.

1) LZ is pretty good but please hire a lawyer to review the documents! LZ has something of a sketchy record at anything but the most basic scenario.

2) The second part of your statement makes me think you really, really don't like those beneficiaries.  If you do, take the extra time and make sure the surviving spouse's estate passes to them efficiently.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, MR.CLEAN said:

1) LZ is pretty good but please hire a lawyer to review the documents! LZ has something of a sketchy record at anything but the most basic scenario.

2) The second part of your statement makes me think you really, really don't like those beneficiaries.  If you do, take the extra time and make sure the surviving spouse's estate passes to them efficiently.

Thanks, appreciate the input. I don't have any near relatives, spouse has some he is not close to. We are leaving what's left to a university. If his relatives want to fight that...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, NeedAClew said:

Thanks, appreciate the input. I don't have any near relatives, spouse has some he is not close to. We are leaving what's left to a university. If his relatives want to fight that...

In that case, may you run out of money the day you take your last breath, and may it be a long way from now.  Universities usually have good lawyers so the useless relatives are probably irrelevant.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/7/2020 at 10:54 AM, MR.CLEAN said:

what state law?  That sounds like an interesting one.  Never heard of a law that can automatically transfer a dead person's property without their prior consent.

Texas - https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/ES/htm/ES.257.htm

Very limited, no debts and no reason other than the passage of title to do an administration.  I'm a little out of my depth here. I'm a former trust officer, not an atty. (But I did sleep in a Holiday Inn once...)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had never heard the word 'muniment' before but I like it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, MR.CLEAN said:

Glad to hear that, and glad you got rid of the bad lawyer.  What lessons can you share from your experience that may help others?

The biggest lesson I learned was to ask a few questions of elderly people while you have the chance.

My dad's mind was mostly fine when he was a couple of weeks from death. I sat there like an idiot and watched him die, then had to search through old files for hours and hours to answer questions he would have answered in seconds. The main reason was probably denial. Yes, they really do die, and yes, you really do have to deal with the aftermath. Facing it and planning for it sooner would have been a much wiser approach. Oh well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Plenipotentiary Tom said:

The biggest lesson I learned was to ask a few questions of elderly people while you have the chance.

My dad's mind was mostly fine when he was a couple of weeks from death. I sat there like an idiot and watched him die, then had to search through old files for hours and hours to answer questions he would have answered in seconds. The main reason was probably denial. Yes, they really do die, and yes, you really do have to deal with the aftermath. Facing it and planning for it sooner would have been a much wiser approach. Oh well.

My Dad spent much energy planning for my mother's wellbeing.   Everything from passwords to schedule and methods he had perfected for routine household maintenance was written down and done together as he declined, so my brother and I could help her live alone.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A family member had a trust, designed by a well intentioned relative who was out of her depth.    He didn't keep it updated and lost his comprehension of its intricacies with age.  He kept his finances private, so family had to reconstruct everything.   A couple lawyers were gainfully employed for years undoing the damage caused both by the trust and the first lawyer.   When he downsized the old house was sold without going through the trust (so the title wasn't clear, which wasn't discovered until the buyer tried to resell it after his death)  The new house wasn't in the trust.   Another blighted property was on a seller financed loan that reverted to the trust in default.    The list goes on.   He was also a Great Depression survivor, so emergency cash was hidden in laundry soap, books and jars of screws.   This was despite the fact he was once on the board of a savings and loan plus had lived through stagflation.  Planning once and forgetting about it isn't adequate.

My ex wife died young.    Her kids spent the last week scrambling instead of sitting with her.   I was still beneficiary on her 401K, but was able to track down account information from my divorce records just in time to save the kids much headache and myself the trouble of having to refuse the bequest.   One can imagine the panic that must have occurred when that oversight was discovered.   They got TOD orders for the remaining assets just before she lost the ability to sign her name.   Her boyfriend was not happy.   Not planning is no better.

A family friend passed on after a brief rebound second marriage, along with his new wife.    She had numerous medical debts.    Even the lawyer that handled his affairs is now claiming he never got paid.   A Christian broker required an extortion fee of several thousand dollars to liquidate the retirement fund.   Once a highly respected professional, then a preacher, he made decisions unworthy of a lovesick teenager when facing loss and despair.

I therefore hired a lawyer last week.   His wisdom:  Do it right, and the will is an afterthought.   Simple things like cars and accounts can have transfer on death or payable on death orders with the bank or title agency.   IRAs and SEP beneficiary forms triumph over wills.    Tax consequences and mandatory dispersions for the beneficiaries are complicated and worthy of adding the financial planner if you fail to live long enough to meaningfully spend your dough on booze, broads and boats.   It might make a big difference in what you leave to whom, depending on their financial situation.    Businesses and holding companies may need instructions added to the articles of incorporation to avoid probate.   He estimated probate would take about a year in Ohio, a fatal delay to the sale of any business in a competitive market.    My file cabinet has a yellow jack folder labeled "I'm Dead" in the very front.   I aim to update it every year with a fresh balance sheet and professional contact list.  

What charity could meaningfully use well maintained but well used sailboats of moderate value?   They come with road worthy trailers.   That would be worth adding to the folder, to make disposal of unwanted toys easier.   

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Lark said:

My Dad spent much energy planning for my mother's wellbeing.   Everything from passwords to schedule and methods he had perfected for routine household maintenance was written down and done together as he declined, so my brother and I could help her live alone.   

My dad left a 6 page letter about what goes on in his office. Early on, it did answer some of the basic questions we had failed to ask before his death.

Unfortunately, over half of it was dedicated to how to use his computer. He started using a PC for his business in the 1980's and wrote things called "macros" in a program called SuperCalc to calculate mortgage amortizations, send late letters, and other things. Then he NEVER changed. Toward the end of his life, he was buying old computers off eBay so he could run Windows 98, which still gave him the needed access to the underlying DOS. He also bought old dot-matrix printers that could print what his macros put out. The damn things could be heard from next door and were glacially slow.

By the time of his death, most everyone who knew SuperCalc was dead. We spent a couple of weeks extracting all his data and building a new system on a new computer. This would have been MUCH easier while he was still alive but he wasn't inclined to change and I wasn't inclined to learn SuperCalc and DOS. He resolved that impasse by dying.

I still have his old machines, just in case. I sure hope to never use them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know nothing about the US and legal issues , but i did know a lot of people that are now dead.

Keep it simple, layers of onion just complicate everything often with no purpose than a clever lawyer billing the crap out of you, trust executors making a nice spread and things taking forever to settle.  My fatherinlaw was the worst, he declared "im leaving things open ended to watch you buggers fight" , he was an idiot like that. Dont be the idiot.Have it organized to disperse cleanly and quickly and be settled. 

I often wonder when families dont talk agian over 25K how messed up the family was before the money issue? Money makes people funny. Not funny haha.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made and update a sheet for my husband telling him what bank and Vanguard index joint accounts (JWROS) we have, what retirement  accounts he has with me as beneficiary, what retirement accounts I have with him as beneficiary. Phone numbers. He does not do online. Who the house, car insurer is. Where safe deposit box is and keys.  Best I can do. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, crankcall said:

I often wonder when families dont talk agian over 25K how messed up the family was before the money issue? Money makes people funny. Not funny haha.

IME they don't split up over $25K. Add a zero and the fun starts.

The fights I've seen are over fairness/selfishness.

Loser siblings thinking "You've already got a house so I should get all of mom's house" - that sort of thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back when I was working our pension plan would hold semi-annual meetings to cover all aspects of how the pension was calculated, how annual increases or decreases were determined, various forms, etc.  I always went to them and usually came away with some useful tidbit of information.

At one get together the presenter made it a point to emphasize the importance of keeping your beneficiary forms up to date.  He cited several cases of spouses getting divorced, beneficiary form not being changed, person dying, and the pension going to the ex-spouse because that was the paperwork on file.

i went home and pulled out my paperwork.  Holy dogballs!  My beneficiary was my wife who died in 1972! (This was the 1990s).  Secondary beneficiary was our son.  If something had happened to me my current wife and our son would have been SOL.

I changed the beneficiary forms that day.  Pension people reminded me that the change did not go into effect until they physically received the form in their offices.  For those several days my wife would not let me drive, stand on a ladder, or go near the boat.  On the other hand I ate really well and the sex was legendary.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, crankcall said:

 

Keep it simple, layers of onion just complicate everything often with no purpose than a clever lawyer billing the crap out of you

Just because you don't understand something doesn't mean it is unnecessarily complicated. If you have a simple estate and few beneficiaries, your trust docs should be simple. If it's not so simple, neither will be the docs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, NeedAClew said:

I made and update a sheet for my husband telling him what bank and Vanguard index joint accounts (JWROS) we have, what retirement  accounts he has with me as beneficiary, what retirement accounts I have with him as beneficiary. Phone numbers. He does not do online. Who the house, car insurer is. Where safe deposit box is and keys.  Best I can do. 

That's a pretty good start. But unless that's all you have, a will would be a good idea. Depending on what state you are in, a trust would be a better one.

We see lawyers who apparently charge by the pound. They have seminars at hotel conference rooms on weekends to sell their "Packages". Others understand the difference between simple and simplistic. Simple is good, simplistic is not. A trust should be as complicated as it needs to be to effect the desired goals. I made my Mom put her minerals in a trust that should run 100 years or more (Statute of limitations). The point was to have a single point of contact for management, leases, etc. When mineral interests get divided into tiny factional interests they become so burdensome the oil companies just wont pursue leasing it. It would have been simpler not to do it, but that would have been a mistake. It's already chump change as it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

IME they don't split up over $25K. Add a zero and the fun starts.

The fights I've seen are over fairness/selfishness.

Loser siblings thinking "You've already got a house so I should get all of mom's house" - that sort of thing.

My father died 15 years ago at the age of 80.  His will was quite simple.  It stated that the estate, around $350,000 mostly in a Vanguard account and a small house, was to be divided equally between his 3 children (my mother passed away about 20 years earlier and my father never remarried).  He had a lawyer friend that offered to handle the estate for a 10% fee.  My sister, who named as the executor, and a CPA for many years, politely declined the offer and said she felt competent enough to handle it.  My sister brother and I sat in the house and easily divvied up various personal possessions worth ~ $40,000 without any quibbling.  My brother got my father's Harley, which he was riding well into his 70s.  My sister handled the sale of the house and all of the taxes (the state of PA took a nice chunk in estate taxes), final income tax return, etc.  Every few weeks she sent us a spreadsheet listing the amounts and taxes, etc.  She only deducted her expenses for gas and fees, etc., everything was on the updated spreadsheet to the penny.   With one phone call Vanguard sent checks for each share of the investment account quickly, my father had set that up when he opened the account.  

We were probably the exception to many families, and my sister is very honest and competent, we all get along well, and the whole thing was simple and painless.   My father was an extremely honest and ethical businessman and apparently we learned by example from him.  My father's sister did estate sales as a sideline business and she handled the sale of the things in the house that we didn't want.  We paid her her normal fee for the sale.   About 6 months later, everything was done and the last disbursement was passed out by my sister. 

My father was a watchmaker and had a jewelry store, which he closed when he retired about 20 year before he died.  He was from the Great Depression generation and he was a bit of a pack rat and had a habit of hiding valuables in different locations.  My aunt was aware of my father's habit and carefully searched everything while preparing for the sale.  She found 7 crisp $100.00 bills secreted in a package of new handkerchiefs.    Fortunately, about a year before his death, he showed my brother where he had hidden several loose diamonds, gold watches, gold rings, and other valuables throughout his house, and gave him a key to the safe deposit box at a local bank, with other items in it.

It is possible for families to go through this kind of thing without problems, but as I said, we were probably the exception, not the norm.

I had a bit of a different experience when my ex wife (my first wife) passed away in 2001 at the age of 46 from breast cancer,  5 days after 9/11.  I was living in Germany at the time and I couldn't get a flight back to the US until about 4 days later, because of the 9/11 situation, to get my 10 year old daughter.  Imagine being in that situation, 4,000 miles away and feeling completely helpless.  I called my daughter every day, telling her I would be there to get her as soon as I could.

My ex was in complete denial about her imminent demise and had no will.  She had a house that had virtually no equity and an outstanding mortgage.  She had an $80,000 life insurance policy from her job, which named her half sister as the beneficiary.  She and her sister had agreed to provide support to each other's children in the event of (their thinking unlikely) early demise.   Her half sister and half brother had come to Texas to see what they could take, the sister picked up the $80,000 check and they left before I got there.  Fortunately my daughter was in the care of my ex's best friend that had a daughter that was my daughter's best friend.  The sister and brother had taken whatever they could find that had any value.  Her brother was pissed off that he couldn't just take his sister's 2 year old car, he seemed to think he could just drive it back home.  It was in a police impound lot because my ex wife was involved in a car minor accident due to confusion from a brain tumor from the metastasized breast cancer, at which time my ex was hospitalized until her death a couple of weeks later.  Of course the impound lot wouldn't release the car to him.  For whatever reason, they also took my daughter's passport which necessitated a drive from San Antonio to Houston to get a same day passport replacement for my daughter.  Ironically, I had to go to the funeral home to sign the permission for my ex's cremation.  My daughter was the nearest relation to give such permission by law, so I had to sign for her as I was her guardian.  I have to admit, I had a fleeting feeling of guilty satisfaction as I signed the paper.  Burn her up!  

I was mostly concerned about bringing my daughter back to Germany with me, I just locked the door to the house and walked away, I hated to do it, but I didn't have the time, or the desire to deal with that mess, I was under enough stress already.  I imagine the car was auctioned off at some point.  When I went to the school where my ex was employed to see about the insurance, I found about the deal with the sister.  I called the sister and at first she expressed shock that I knew about the insurance, it was supposed to be a 'secret'.  I politely informed her that I was concerned that my daughter would have access to the 'secret' money at some point, as that was the purpose of the insurance.  19 years later, my daughter has never seen a penny of that money and she never will, it's long gone.  I was just a little pissed of about that and I still am, but I raised my daughter up to be a fine, responsible young lady with a BS in science.  She will turn 29 this month and is the very capable, married, hard working mother of 2 year old twins.  I have and continue to help her considerably with educational and life expenses.  Her aunt has to live with herself and her immoral decisions.   Her uncle, in his 50s, was killed in a car accident last year.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your second story is far more typical than the first.

At least Karma finally got involved. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure what Michigan particulars are, but in simple terms, will/probate is a public process where anyone and everyone can see your assets, liabilities and beneficiaries. A living trust is private. It will also contain a "pour over will" that will that will take care of anything you forgot, as well as things like household items. It is revocable and amendable until you die. Since you have no kids, go to a local bank that has a trust department. Name them as the successor trustee. They'll want a copy of the trust so they know what they are getting (some don't deal with certain asset classes.

In California probate takes 12-18 months and the fees are pretty high and cannot be waived. Many local bank trust companies charge around 1% to administer the trust.

If you want to go cheap and your estate is simple, legalzoom (it was around $300 when my dad did his about 10 years ago. When I did mine through a trust and estate lawyer is was around $2,000. Money well spent in my opinion.

Best of luck.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, On The Hard said:

I made my Mom put her minerals in a trust that should run 100 years or more (Statute of limitations). 

Statute of Limitations or Rule Against Perpetuities?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lesson from my family is never, ever volunteer to be an executor "out of the goodness of your heart".  Not when money, valuable property, children and no will are involved.  Add in a sudden death, fratricide (yes, fratricide) and the "expectations" of two orphaned but hyper-privileged teenage girls, unpaid taxes and you've taken 7 years of my sister's life away dealing with lawsuits, accountants and backstabbing.   

Never, ever volunteer to be an executor "out of the goodness of your heart". 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jesus christ, that sounds like hell. Sorry you had to go through that. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites