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Re: Question on Wills............
Old 08-29-2006, 03:21 AM   #21
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Re: Question on Wills............

we gave each kid a sealed envelope instructing each one where to find the instructions for getting a hold of the will and important paperwork and what to do after both of us are gone....my son goes wow this is soooo cool,its like a treasure hunt
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Re: Question on Wills............
Old 08-29-2006, 05:52 AM   #22
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Re: Question on Wills............

Mathjak..that's a good idea..! One could also rent a safety deposit box with one or more other signatures on it (I think the norm is two total, but maybe you can get more?). Then put the basic instructions with a key to the box.. That way someone just opening the envelope wouldn't find out anything "secret" beforehand; they'd have to go to the safety deposit box for a copy of the will (maybe you could instruct the bank to inform you if anyone of the other signatories enters?).

I don't know how one would judge if a lawyer is trustworthy or not. Not clear on the details but I know something fishy happened with the "respected, upright, white-shoe" family lawyer in NH when my Grandma died in the '60s. (I remember the figure of $90k being mentioned at the time; gotta do something to afford all those white shoes that soil so quickly!)

I wouldn't put passwords on any documents; too risky. With the rest of the account info and a copy of the death certificate, the firms in question should be able to handle inquiries and transfers, though it would probably be worth it to check with each firm about their policies and how they handle things, what kind of paperwork they will require, etc.

My MIL left some kind of instructions with her priest as well as with a lawyer; for stable members of a particular religious community that could also be an option since they would certainly be aware of one's demise.


A side note: be careful about safe deposit boxes!! With banks changing hands and merging all the time, things can get lost in the shuffle. I had a box and when the local branch got taken over by mega-bank, I didn't think twice about it. But for some reason the boxes came under another heading in the new system, so I hadn't get a renewal notice. Only when I went to open a business account did the (fortunately same) old manager recognize the name and said "we were just about to 'drill' that box"!* :

Another hat tip to sg for the excellent checklist!
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Re: Question on Wills............
Old 08-29-2006, 11:33 PM   #23
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Re: Question on Wills............

It just so happens, I'm going to meet with my attorney this Thursday. To discuss an ammendment to my revocable trust.

I'll ask him the question, to solve the missing link issue. Of course, I won't understand a word he says. Just shake his hand and act beholding.

Oh Yeah, provide him with my mailing address, in case he wants to bill me!
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Re: Question on Wills............
Old 08-30-2006, 04:28 AM   #24
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Re: Question on Wills............

all i can say is be very careful doing a will or trust especially if you use a kit on your own...its to easy to screw something up as simple as it is........
my ex wife inheireted a house and went to refinance..when the title company looked at the will they said they couldnt go on with the closing...why? 1 word was missing...the will read and to my daughter beth i leave all my possessions ....it was missing the word "only"..... as in only child....we had to pay everyone for the day,lost our rate we were supposed to get and get affadavits from relatives stating shes an only child.......


a poorly constructed will just cost my wife and i 400,00 bucks....my wife inheireted a real estate business from her deceased husbands family....the will failed to deal with her deceased husband dying before his parents....her husband had children from a previous marriage which were specifically written out of the will but since there were no provisions for pre deceasing the kids were entitled to a share and we had to buy them out......


key word becareful and read and re-read everything even if a lawyer does it....
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Re: Question on Wills............
Old 08-30-2006, 06:43 AM   #25
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Re: Question on Wills............

We have a similar thing as sgeeee. My parents, my aunt and uncle, my sister and her husband, and I all have a one page list of where everything is, and we all keep it in a folder in the front of our filing cabinets or in a top desk drawer. We have copies of our wills at our houses, with an extra copy in our safe deposit boxes. Executors have copies as well, along with health care directives. We don't all have to know what's in everyone's wills, but any one of us can find each others.

It is very unlikely that we all die at the same time. If we do, well, then, the documents will be easy for someone else to find as soon as they start going through our papers.

It doesn't have to be overly complicated. We sat down at Christmas one year about 10 years ago and Dad said "hey, we have this sheet of paper with all this info on it, it would be good if the whole family did that", and we did.

Karen
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Re: Question on Wills............
Old 08-30-2006, 10:26 AM   #26
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Re: Question on Wills............

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaudrey
.... We sat down at Christmas one year about 10 years ago and Dad said "hey, we have this sheet of paper with all this info on it, it would be good if the whole family did that", and we did.*

Karen
Hug that Dad.. he led by example.

Those are dealing with parents who haven't taken care of these details could try that approach.
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Re: Question on Wills............
Old 08-30-2006, 12:55 PM   #27
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Re: Question on Wills............

CT, I have been out for a couple of days and missed your post. In Minnesota I believe you have the option of filing your will with the county court administrator. If you do that, do not forget to file any updates you may do from time to time. Most people I know don't file their will.

I have no idea if the filed will is a public document. You might ask your lawyer.

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Re: Question on Wills............
Old 08-30-2006, 05:51 PM   #28
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Re: Question on Wills............

here in new york,how the will is executed is a very imortant factor too...as an example there is a batch of questions that an attorney needs to ask you before you sign your will.questions like are you of sound mind and body...do you know what the will is? etc...
i was going to do our wills with willmaker at first and knew nothing of these little requirements.....a will can be declared invalid if anyone contests the wills and the witnesses are asked if these questions were asked..there many things the attorney did that had i done it on my own i would never have known.....
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Re: Question on Wills............
Old 08-30-2006, 06:18 PM   #29
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Re: Question on Wills............

Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107
here in new york,how the will is executed is a very imortant factor too...as an example there is a batch of questions that an attorney needs to ask you before you sign your will.questions like are you of sound mind and body...do you know what the will is? etc...
* i was going to do our wills with willmaker at first and knew nothing of these little requirements.....a will can be declared invalid if anyone contests the wills and the witnesses are asked if these questions were asked..there many things the attorney did that had i done it on my own i would never have known.....
Questions they ask or are REQUIRED to ask or just ask to justify the money they charge? Just wondering?
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Re: Question on Wills............
Old 08-30-2006, 06:29 PM   #30
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Re: Question on Wills............

lets say its proper protocol, as* when wills are challenged here in new york quite frequently the witnesses are questioned as to proper protocal by the party challenging the will'......every attorney asks the same questions to cover those areas .....its a favorite to claim the person wasnt aware what they were signing ,or they were on medication and not of sound mind......or..... the list goes on and on........not every family gets along and especially in 2nd marriages the kids may not be happy with the way things are split....* *having just gone thru a 2 year battle over an inheireted business i got first hand experience as to what games are played once you get to court......thing s we dont even think are important such as the relationship of the witnesses to the person who's will it is are all suddnley big factors
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Re: Question on Wills............
Old 08-30-2006, 06:39 PM   #31
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Re: Question on Wills............

the other thing i learned is that despite what the wills and trusts show as your intentions the judges usually won't fill in any missing blanks to correct the issues where there may be an issue.... you can clearly state in a trust you dont want so and so to get anything....but if any loop holes or poorly constructed wording is found the trust or will may not be able to be followed even though it clearly shows the intent....i dont want to ramble on about our case but man was it educational about how crucial perfection is in these documents and i can tell you as long as there is no problem the do it yourself kits are fine but when there are issues ooooh man is it a horror.......even though an attorney did my wifes fatherinlaws estates will and trust he must have been a general practioner and not an estate attorney as some crucial wording was omitted...that paragraph cost us 100,000 in legal fee's and 400,000 in buy out costs for some estranged step children who were specifically written out by the father inlaw
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Re: Question on Wills............
Old 08-31-2006, 11:18 AM   #32
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Re: Question on Wills............

Brat said: Hug that Dad.. he led by example.

----

They always have. They worked hard, raised two kids on a middle-class income and a SAHM, never had debt, retired 12 years ago at 57 and have never looked back.

Now, here I am, their DD, working on retiring at age 52 in 15 years. (The competitive nature they also instilled in me requires that I "beat" them to retirement)!!!

Karen
(sorry for going off topic - I can't pass up a chance to show I am proud of my parents).
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