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Old 05-03-2016, 11:24 AM   #61
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We keep our wills updated (about every 10 years) and have health care POAs and advance directives. Our retirement accounts name each other as primary and estates as contingent. We have "I love you" wills, meaning everything goes to each other, but in case of common disaster, we have trusts set up to benefit our niece and nephews, with a BIL as trustee. And a separate sheet that includes a sort-of life estate and payment for our roommate to stay on for a period and assist BIL (also the executor) with the disposition. As the kids get older, I'll change things up, with named contingent beneficiaries of the IRAs and perhaps something different with the house.

Cost around $700 this last time, in SC.
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Old 05-04-2016, 12:43 PM   #62
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I am also doing the research on estate planning. I only have a simple will at this time. I see that in California, Governor Brown signed into law, beginning 1/1/2016, Transfer on Death Deed is now available:



Californians have a new way to keep homes out of probate - San Francisco Chronicle



"..., homeowners who want to use the new option will simply sign an instrument called a Simple Revocable Transfer on Death Deed, naming who will receive the property. They must have it notarized and record it with their county within 60 days. If they change their mind, they can revoke the deed at any time."



I am trying to find out where to get this document so I can prepare and sign it....

I used this one
http://www.sbcounty.gov/arc/_pdf/Rev...Death_Deed.pdf



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Old 05-04-2016, 01:49 PM   #63
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When I was hospitalized last year I was pleasantly surprised to find that the hospital would make a POA and Living Will (health care directive) at no charge. Now if I could only get my son to have them made for him I would feel better (they will do it for healthy people as well).
I ran into this is the hospital as well. They were quite surprised and a little flustered when I told them I did NOT want a DNR order and all their forms only included checkboxes for various conditions under which I would I would not be resuscitated. Also they seemed very pushy about wanting organ donations. Maybe I looked a lot worse than I felt.
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Old 05-04-2016, 01:53 PM   #64
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California transfer on death deeds are ok for transfer on death. Not great though as what if your beneficiary isn't alive? No back up plans can be put there as they can in a real trust. However, the much bigger problem is it's a transfer on DEATH. What happens on disability? How does someone sell your house to pay for the nursing home? A living trust, at least in California, is far superior to any other option in 99.9% of the situations. Anybody coming up with excuses to the contrary is fooling themselves. 20+ years and well over a thousand post-death/disability cases of experience speaking here.
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Old 05-04-2016, 02:02 PM   #65
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We have everything in a trust. the will simply states...See trust. All of our major property has the owner listed as the trust. No probate and no court to make "determinations" (which is the main point of the trust to us)

We have the main trustee listed as a niece and the backups are other nieces and nephews who we trust implicitly.

No one has seen the document. The executors have the combination to our safe where the document exists.
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Old 05-04-2016, 06:11 PM   #66
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Something to consider on the subject of DNR:

The Dirty Secret about CPR in the Hospital (That Doctors Desperately Want You to Know)
APRIL 11, 2016
https://kvscruggs.com/2016/04/11/the...t-you-to-know/
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Old 05-04-2016, 06:25 PM   #67
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California transfer on death deeds are ok for transfer on death. Not great though as what if your beneficiary isn't alive? No back up plans can be put there as they can in a real trust. However, the much bigger problem is it's a transfer on DEATH. What happens on disability? How does someone sell your house to pay for the nursing home? A living trust, at least in California, is far superior to any other option in 99.9% of the situations. Anybody coming up with excuses to the contrary is fooling themselves. 20+ years and well over a thousand post-death/disability cases of experience speaking here.
This is what a durable power of attorney takes care of if the provisions are properly written the holder could sell the house. Also it makes sure you have a person of your choice. My Aunt was placed into a guardianship and the court appointed guardian fleeced her of all her assets. But she was also in a nursing home and on medicaid so the state paid one way or the other.
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Old 05-04-2016, 11:46 PM   #68
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One thing to remember about trusts.

If you establish the trust, you have to follow the rules of how you handle the money, what records you keep, how you move things in and out of the trust.

A number of folks used to set up these trusts so that if they went into a nursing home the state couldn't get at their estates. But then they did not treat the trusts like a trust, and when things unraveled the trust would get thrown out because it had not been maintained properly.
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Old 05-06-2016, 10:08 AM   #69
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No more procrastinating for me. I have an appointment with my lawyer on Monday to go over the will questionnaire that I filled out.

This exercise has me thinking though, the process of determining if someone has a will or not seems so archaic and on the honor system.

Let's say if someone is pretty much a private person, doesn't have a surviving spouse and has a will but leaves one of the children out. What's not to say the left out child finds the will but decides put that in the fireplace in attempt to inherit intestate.

If you are a public figure, that may not work. Such as with Michael Jackson where at first there was speculation he had no will, but then later on determined he had a living trust. However, for a regular non public figure, I can easily see someone who had a will but not found out until years later.

I suppose to moral of the story is don't keep one totally secret if you want the will discovered.
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Old 05-06-2016, 10:26 AM   #70
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This exercise has me thinking though, the process of determining if someone has a will or not seems so archaic and on the honor system.

Let's say if someone is pretty much a private person, doesn't have a surviving spouse and has a will but leaves one of the children out. What's not to say the left out child finds the will but decides put that in the fireplace in attempt to inherit intestate.
I think you can file a copy with the county courthouse to help prevent this problem. Not sure how everyone would know it's there though. Maybe there's a records check when you die?
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Old 05-06-2016, 10:48 AM   #71
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I think you can file a copy with the county courthouse to help prevent this problem. Not sure how everyone would know it's there though. Maybe there's a records check when you die?
That's pretty much where I was going about would be nice if there is some sort of system. I think about the situation now with Prince. The courts are already involved and the assumption is "no will", yet not certain.
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Old 05-06-2016, 02:25 PM   #72
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Well, your named executor should know where it is. I keep our wills at my office, and my boss knows to get in touch with our executor.
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Old 05-10-2016, 09:01 AM   #73
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Met with my attorney yesterday about my will creation. Overall, pretty straight forward only a few discussions on what I put on the attorney's questionnaire.

Oh, I did pass up on the chance to have a kitty trust fund set up so would get a ration of kibbles and bits each day , but did name them on my will and some $$ for my sister to care for.
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Old 05-10-2016, 12:12 PM   #74
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After going thru mom's death & dear brother being an executor on a very poorly written trust, I set my things in order. No attny, just me, and the small estate affidavit within the CA limit of 150k:
1. All investment, bank, insurance with 'Totten' trust AKA: POD / TOD designated beneficiaries
2. House titled to trust $10 UPS Notary / $14 Recorder fees. 1 page trust with 5 witnesses
3. 1/2 page note to son with how to 1099 those who still owe me + their names + their SSNs

Will redo house title to the TOD now -- so easy
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Old 05-10-2016, 02:05 PM   #75
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Ok. I've gone to site. Apparently I'd need to title house back to me, do a PCOS, then the TOD form. Is it necessary?
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Old 05-10-2016, 03:45 PM   #76
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If the house is distributed to the heirs as joint ownership, you may have a lot of fun is some what to keep it and others want to sell it. The ones who want sell it may have to take legal action to force the sale. I saw this tear apart a family when a farm was left to all the children. One child was paying all the up keep -- taxes, insurance, etc. The others were living on it. The one who as footing the bill forced a sale and the other children have never communicated with them again.

Hopefully the case you're referring to will be better.
I can give an example of how EVERYTHING went wrong with the probate of a real estate property.

DH's grandparents owned a Jersey shore property. All of their children used it during the summer.. Everyone involved had residency in PA, not NJ. First GF passed - ownership went to GM. Then, in the mid 80's GM died.

Her will explicitly stated that the property should be sold and proceeds distributed evenly among the 5 kids. The executor (oldest) and the youngest felt that there was a "wish" that the youngest eventually receive the property (even though there was nothing in writing on this. Executor did not sell. Probate was closed in PA - but since this was in NJ and probate was never opened there... no court noticed the lack of sale.

Fast forward a decade. The siblings are sharing use and expenses of the property. Title is still in GM's name. Insurance is still in GM's name. Bills are still in GM's name. Executor/Eldest child dies. He has a will that states his "share" should be split among the remaining 4 siblings. Again - no probate, no title transfer, etc.

Fast forward another decade - next oldest child dies. His will doesn't address it. Youngest tells widow "you have no claim - go away". Which she does. So now there are 3.

Fast forward another decade and FIL passes. DH is executor (since MIL is now diagnosed with dementia). He pushes the issue on probating this property since it is part of his dad's estate. Everyone panics. The scuttlebut is that the youngest was hoping to "outlast" everyone and inherit. She is not 100% cooperative in getting this sold. Nor is the widow (who is entitled, along with her dead husband's kids) to part of the proceeds. But DH and one of his cousins push the issue and get the other surviving sibling to sign on as executor (30 years after the fact) to get this property sold.

It took almost 2 years - but the property is sold and proceeds distributed. 32 years after grandma died. This allowed DH to finally close probate for his dad.

This is an example of how NOT to handle real estate inheritances.
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Old 05-10-2016, 03:52 PM   #77
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I can give an example of how EVERYTHING went wrong with the probate of a real estate property.

...

It took almost 2 years - but the property is sold and proceeds distributed. 32 years after grandma died. This allowed DH to finally close probate for his dad.

This is an example of how NOT to handle real estate inheritances.
This sounds like a case study from the tax sales in our jurisdiction. Two or three generations of deaths without wills and a property that declined in value substantially. Tax payments missed and sold at auction to speculators/investors who are looking at the newly booming real estate in the area. But, heirs have right to redeem within a year--so other investors/speculators track down the heirs, buy their shares in the right to redeem....

Gets really messy really fast.
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Old 05-10-2016, 05:13 PM   #78
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Live & learn. Leaving it in a trust with executor selling it and dispersing assets. It's the only thing in the trust
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Old 05-10-2016, 06:31 PM   #79
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I think each of us needs a will unless you want the State to be your executor.
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Old 05-11-2016, 06:55 PM   #80
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Wow, Rodi, that is a fascinating story of executors doing wrong!
I remember when a great aunt passed away, her kids pushing back on the executor's instructions to sell a beach property and divined the proceeds. Tried to get her to do just as described in your story.
She told them to pack sand! Small wonder my great aunt picked her to do the job!

Where we live there is a common situation with so-called "heirs property" that winds up, though a couple of generations of folks without wills, to have 30-40 owners. Nightmare to sell. Fortunately there are local groups that do packed-full free seminars on how to untangle them.
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