Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Frustrated!
Old 12-23-2004, 05:11 PM   #1
 
Posts: n/a
Frustrated!

Getting nowhere on the will update. I am beginning to think it will be so expensive (attorneys) to get it just right that I would be better off with my old "split it 4 ways" DIY will, and let my heirs sort it out. Maybe if I
had just the right executor with clear instructions this
would work. Anyway, if I went that way the attorneys would get paid out of what I leave instead of my pocket
while I am still above ground. Okay, pile on.
I can take it.

JG
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Re: Frustrated!
Old 12-23-2004, 06:21 PM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Jay_Gatsby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,718
Re: Frustrated!

An attorney won't necessarily be expensive if you choose a solo practitioner. Many solos used to be with larger firms, but like your average FIRE person, couldn't (or wouldn't) deal with the various personalities present in a firm. It is these types of trusts & estates attorneys you should seek, since they most likely have better training than an average solo practitioner who drafts wills in between criminal arraignments.

I can't quote you a figure as to what such an attorney might charge, but you'd be better off having a clear will and appoint one or more trustees/administrators to handle things after your death. I wouldn't necessarily advise using the same lawyer that drafted the will, since s/he will continue to charge your estate for administration, and this is where many trusts & estates attorneys make their money. My suggestion would be to find a family friend who is highly-educated that you trust, but who has no involvement (and is not beholden) to any of your heirs.

If you're trying to save money, you might consider one of the better software packages for drafting your own will, and then ask an attorney to take a couple of hours to look it over and provide suggestions. You can then make or reject the suggested changes, rather than pay for the attorney to draft everything from scratch (which would never happen in any case, since every attorney has a "form bank", but will pad the bill to reflect that the document was drafted from scratch).
__________________

__________________
He had one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it . . . It faced, or seemed to face, the whole external world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. -- The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Jay_Gatsby is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Frustrated!
Old 12-23-2004, 08:27 PM   #3
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 108
Re: Frustrated!

We were poised to do an updated will that was basicly liquidate and divide the procedes, and then one daughter said she hoped she got the china cupboard, and another wanted the buffet, etc. Has anybody done one where the kids choose what they want and THEN liquidate, etc.?
__________________
indymom is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Frustrated!
Old 12-23-2004, 08:42 PM   #4
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Re: Frustrated!

Nolo's "Plan Your Estate" book (try a library copy) recounts the tale of a father putting his adult children through a weekend retreat to generate "the list" of who would inherit what.

I think he locked them into a soundproof room and went golfing. It wasn't exactly a lovefest and I'm sure a few in-law spouses learned more than they cared to know, but by the end of the weekend the patriarch had his list-- which was inserted into the will.

It's probably a bit macabre to invite the kids to make a wish list out of your personal property, but at least keeps you out of the who-deserves-what debate...

Another option, if you downsize someday, is an estate sale. My father held one to move from their big home to a small apartment, with an auctioneer and the whole circus. It turned into a heckuva party...
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Frustrated!
Old 12-23-2004, 10:09 PM   #5
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 902
Re: Frustrated!

Quote:
We were poised to do an updated will that was basicly liquidate and divide the procedes, and then one daughter said she hoped she got the china cupboard, and another wanted the buffet, etc. Has anybody done one where the kids choose what they want and THEN liquidate, etc.?
Indymom, my wife's family handled this in a way that worked well. After her parents died, the siblings divided duties and everyone took on some task that needed to be done. One took on the task of making a list of all the possessions that had any value. She emailed the list to the other siblings, and each one went through and ranked every item on the list they were interested in having:

5 - I want this very badly
4 - I'd really like to have this, but not as much as a 5 rating.
3 - I could make good use of this
2 - I might be able to use it
1 - I don't really need it, but if nobody else wants it, I'll take it before it goes to a garage sale.

All the lists were mailed back to the original sibling who went through and divided things up so that everyone got roughly an equal amount of stuff (based on value), and everyone received the things they wanted most. They all agreed in advance to abide by the decision of the original sibling - no questions asked. There were several siblings and it all worked out extremely well.

There was still a fair amount of stuff left over after everyone got what they wanted, so they had another round and opened it up to the grandkids. Everything else was put out at a garage sale, and what didn't sell was was either donated to Goodwill or tossed.

There were a few valuable items (cars, paintings, some antiques, coin collection, etc.) and they agreed in advance that those would be sold and the money split.

The whole process worked very well. We plan to ask our kids to do something like that when we die, probably through a letter attached to our will.
__________________
Bob_Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Frustrated!
Old 12-24-2004, 01:00 AM   #6
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Frustrated!

Well, I did choose a sole practictioner. Maybe I was hoping he would have quick answers for me. So far,
little progress. Re. the problem of personal property,
we don't have all that much. I think I will be able to divide it up,
unless the pile includes my folks stuff too. That could get messy I suppose.

There is some good news. I was looking up my guy's
phone number and found a coupon in the phone book
for a free consultation and a basic will inlcuded for only
$100. Since we basically only had the "consultation"
I guess I have not spent any money yet. Whoohoo!

JG
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Re: Frustrated!
Old 12-24-2004, 05:02 AM   #7
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
Re: Frustrated!

John, do you know what you want done with your assets and just having a hard time accomplishing it? Or are you not sure what to do? From what you have said in the past, it seems like there are two major areas of concern. One is the IRA. One is the fact that much of your real estate is held by your corporation. Is this right?

Martha

__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Frustrated!
Old 12-24-2004, 06:50 AM   #8
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Frustrated!

Hello Martha. Yes, that is exactly right. The only
PERSONAL asset of any significance is the IRA.
Everything else is held in the corp. And, yes I know
exactly how I want it distributed, percentage-wise
and otherwise. Doing it simply and with minmal
tax pain has proven elusive though. I guess the other
kink is my desire to protect my financially
unsophisticated spouse as much as possible,
whether she appreciates it or not. Obviously,
if the corp. GIVES assets to anyone (even me)
that would be fully taxable. If I split the corp's stock,
3 or 4 ways, someone still has to run it. I see no
one in my family set up to do it. Would they have to hire someone? Could my CPA or attorney do it?
For how long? And, what do my heirs do in the
meantime? Should (could?) it be liquidated after I am gone? Questions I ask myself. If I was single,
I would just split my estate 3 ways (3 kids) and let them sort
it out.

"No good deed goes unpunished."
comes to mind, or maybe "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions."

JG










__________________
  Reply With Quote
Re: Frustrated!
Old 12-24-2004, 07:02 AM   #9
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Frustrated!

And another thing

Yesterday (for the umpteenth time) DW and I are
discussing this. I mention the problem of someone
running the corp. if I am gone. She implies there is
nothing to do. My parents say "What company?"
Or "You are the company." Wrong wrong wrong!
The company is and will continue as a separate legal
entity (I know I am preaching to the choir in Martha's case). Separate banking, tax returns, insurance,
assets, liabailities, everything must be kept separate.
Yeah, it's small, but it's set up to be perpetual and that
means there are decisions to be made every day.
It takes me little time. Throw in someone new (other
than a seasoned professional)....................well,
it would not be a pretty picture.

JG
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Re: Frustrated!
Old 12-24-2004, 08:20 AM   #10
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
Re: Frustrated!

So your goal is to keep the corporation (I assume C corp?) running after you are gone? With it collecting rents and making distributions to new shareholders? Or for the corporation to sell its assets (and I know, suffer the tax consequences)? I trying to pin you down here.

Martha
__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Frustrated!
Old 12-24-2004, 11:09 AM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
MooreBonds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: St. Louis
Posts: 2,091
Re: Frustrated!

Quote:
my wife's family handled this in a way that worked well. ...

5 - I want this very badly
4 - I'd really like to have this, but not as much as a 5 rating.
3 - I could make good use of this
2 - I might be able to use it
1 - I don't really need it, but if nobody else wants it, I'll take it before it goes to a garage sale.
Interesting method, Bob_Smith.

After reading an article in Scientific American in 1995 on a discovery on 'envy-free distribution', I came up with my own method on how to divide up an immediate family member's estate when they pass on in the near future:

1. Obtain valuations on all 'significant' (over $1,000) items, with ballpark approximations on remaining knick-nacks.
2. As she has a trust, distribute info to each heir on what their share of the estate is approximately valued at, and a listing of all assets that the estate has.
3. Hold an 'auction', whereby each heir can determine themsevles what they want to 'bid' on. That way, if two people really want that 100 year old family heirloom solid iron meat pounder and cutitng board, they can determine amongst themselves how badly they want it by bidding for it. If each person's share is $10,000 of the estate, and the winning bid ends up bidding $10,000 for the meat pounder and cutting board, then they get exactly what they wanted to for the value that they placed on it.

There are two catches to this procedure:
a) Emotions might run high for some items, and people might end up bidding over and above what would be a sensible value for an item due to senitmental value (and later regret that they bid so much for it). This is the purpose of putting a ballpark value on each item so people can see what they are overbidding on. Also, even though everyone would know that they are choosing the value of the estate, someone who bids their entire share of the inheiritance for a meat pounder and cutting board might claim ignorance and say that they were cheated (even though they knew the rules beforehand).

b) In the event that one (or more) people successfully bid on items that total more than their share then they would have to pony up the cash to the remaining heirs based on the amount of their winning bids.

The above would work well if the estate had a decent percentage of cash, so that way each person would likely be left with some money to pay out any overbids with. It would also work well if there were one or two large items (like real estate) which more than one heir wanted.

With items like jewelry, a jeweler will always appraise things for more than the retail price would be - so you might want to have the jeweler give you two prices: the price they would pay you to buy the jewelery off of you, and the price that you would pay in a retail jewelery store. You would then list both prices in your summary sheet for the heirs to see, and let people draw their own conclusions on what the piece is worth to them.
__________________
Dryer sheets Schmyer sheets
MooreBonds is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Frustrated!
Old 12-24-2004, 02:56 PM   #12
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Frustrated!

Hello Martha. Yes, I think it would be better to keep the
"C" corp. alive. If it was just my kids I would find someone to run it and make payouts to my 3 kids on
some basis. But, I want to (A) give my spouse a
place to live indefinitely, and (B) provide her an income
stream to help carry her until she can collect my SS
at age 60. I suppose if I think about this long enough a
light will come on. And, of course I may live a long time
in which case it will all be moot.

JG
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Re: Frustrated!
Old 12-25-2004, 01:15 AM   #13
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 250
Re: Frustrated!

Quote:
It's probably a bit macabre to invite the kids to make a wish list out of your personal property, but at least keeps you out of the who-deserves-what debate...
This reminds me of the grandfather of a guy I used to date in college. Every time one of the kids or grandkids came to visit he would ask them to pick out one item they would like to have after his passing and make them label it with their name (of course you could only choose an item that was not already taken).

I thought it was a bit morbid, but also quite clever. In addition to being a method for distributing his belongings it was also a not-so-subtle form of bribery - as the kids who visited him the most inevitably ended up with more stuff.
__________________
FlowGirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Frustrated!
Old 12-25-2004, 10:35 AM   #14
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 373
Re: Frustrated!

I can not find the title of the book I am going to mention. I know I got it from our local library, and just reviewed the online catalog with no luck. If it rings a bell with anyone go ahead and let us know the title!

The book was about what NOT to do, and gave a number of stories. For example, one was on the degree of trust and discretion to give to a trustee versus having restrictive clauses in a trust that may be overly restrictive. There was a lady who wanted to help out with her grandchildrens college, but was quite concerned about not financing a "vacation" for them. Therefor she had her lawyer include restrictions including grade levels and 'full time' in the trust documents.

Her favorite granddaughter, who she was quite close to and dearly wanted to see get a college degree, went first into the military, and then after getting out and starting a family, enrolled in college. She worked a day job, went to college at night, and raised a child - but unfortunately the night courses did not meet the trust definition of 'full time', and the trust could not pay to help her. Her grandmother would be heartbroken to see how the trust failed to do what she would have wanted - and to see her grandaughter struggling so to get her college degree.

There were a number of other stories along the same lines - the unintended effect of the will/trust language would have the deceased turning over in their grave! There were also cases similar to the splitting up assets discussions above, where the directives ended up with previously close siblings fighting and becoming distant from each other.

If anyone has seen this book, please post the title - I would highly recommend it, and would like to reread it myself.

And for those writing wills/trusts, etc. You really need to spend time thinking about how your directives could backfire. Murphy's waiting....

Wayne
__________________
wzd is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Frustrated!
Old 12-27-2004, 04:47 AM   #15
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
Re: Frustrated!

Quote:
Hello Martha. Yes, I think it would be better to keep the
"C" corp. alive. If it was just my kids I would find someone to run it and make payouts to my 3 kids on
some basis. But, I want to (A) give my spouse a
place to live indefinitely, and (B) provide her an income
stream to help carry her until she can collect my SS
at age 60. I suppose if I think about this long enough a
light will come on. And, of course I may live a long time
in which case it will all be moot.

JG
This is a tough one. If your corporation owns your home, how can it let your wife live there rent free without creating a tax problem? Gee John, I think you need a real estate planning lawyer who really really understands tax law.
__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Frustrated!
Old 12-27-2004, 05:44 AM   #16
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Frustrated!

Hello Martha. Yeah, it's a "tough one" for sure. I was
working on this yesterday and again this morning.
I am very reluctant to spend a bunch of money that I really
don't have to solve it, so I am stuck for now. My
creative powers have failed me on this one. Thus
I can either leave things as they are (which means
my heirs might have to deal with it), or hope I live a long time which basically pushes the problem into the future. If I get real lucky,
maybe future events with make all things clear. It could
happen.

JG
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Very frustrated with Amazon.com modhatter Other topics 6 09-25-2006 10:15 PM
Frustrated trying to copy a DVD! Help? soupcxan Other topics 4 12-06-2004 11:29 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:33 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.