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Wills?
Old 12-07-2009, 02:15 PM   #1
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Wills?

My DW and I want to create some sort of living will but am not sure the best way to go about it. Seems like the simplest thing to do is to create a list like:

beneficiary #1 - x%
beneficiary #2 - x%
.
.

asset #1 - 401(k) - bank 1
asset #2 - Roth IRA - bank 2
.
.


Any advice or suggestions is greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-07-2009, 03:22 PM   #2
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I think you may have living will confused with a regular will ?

Living will definition - Medical Dictionary definitions of popular medical terms easily defined on MedTerms
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Old 12-07-2009, 03:33 PM   #3
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We were just discussing living wills the other day. MIL was against it because she thought it was for when you think it is time for you to die. Maybe you had to be there.
I have printed out the link info and it will help clear things up.

Thanks,

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Old 12-07-2009, 05:27 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
Yep, I was mixed up. I guess the document that lists out your beneficiaries is called a last will or just a regular will?
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:23 PM   #5
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A Living Will is also called a Health Care Directive or Advance Care Directive.

Advance health care directive - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The purpose of a Living Will is quite different from that of a "regular" will, or "last will and testament", which basically allocates your assets after you die. A Living Will tells your family, friends and healthcare providers what you want done with you, while you are alive, in the event that you are in a coma or otherwise unable to communicate your wishes. For example, if you were comatose or in a permanent vegetative state, or demented, would you want CPR done? Dialysis? Would you want to be put on a ventilator? Generally speaking, the more specifically you write this document, the more helpful it is to your loved ones and healthcare providers. A directive that says "do everything" is less helpful than one that says "I am willing to be put on a ventilator provided that it is a short term treatment". Once you die, a Living Will becomes irrelevant and then your Last Will and Testament kicks in.

Living Wills are legally binding documents in many jurisdictions. One of the most useful benefits is to avoid the "daughter from California" syndrome, in which Mother has a stroke and can't speak, son believes we should make her comfortable, and daughter (who has been out of town for 10 years and never calls at Christmas) rushes in and wants to have Mother kept on life support and transferred to Mexico for untested treatment costing $50K. Yes, this does happen!

I have a Living Will. My closest relatives and friends have copies, as does my doctor. If my doctor knows I have one, and contravenes my wishes, I or my health care proxy could complain or even take hiim/her to court. Some hospitals have policies that ensure that adults being admitted are routinely asked whether they have a living will or advance care directive.

A Health Care Proxy is someone whom you appoint to manage your affairs while you are unable to do so for any reason. The details of the Proxy's scope vary by jurisdiction.

I'm sure Rich and Martha can 'splain this better than I can....
So which kind of a will do you think you need?
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:00 AM   #6
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^^^ Thanks for the explanation. I meant regular will in my original post.
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bank5 View Post
My DW and I want to create some sort of living will but am not sure the best way to go about it. Seems like the simplest thing to do is to create a list like:

beneficiary #1 - x%
beneficiary #2 - x%
.
.

asset #1 - 401(k) - bank 1
asset #2 - Roth IRA - bank 2
.
.


Any advice or suggestions is greatly appreciated.
I need to have a will drawn up, too. I plan to wait until after my move to Missouri in 2010-2011 to do so. I will have an attorney draw it up to make sure it holds. I think that with a very simple will that should not be too expensive and it would be worth it to make sure things go smoothly upon my demise.

Sometimes people leave equal parts to each of their children, for example, much as you are suggesting. Sometimes people assign all of a particular asset to a particular beneficiary, and all of another asset to another beneficiary. Or, sometimes people assign, say, $50,000 to beneficiary A and the remainder of the estate to Beneficiary B.
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Old 12-08-2009, 11:01 AM   #8
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I think you should open a new thread with the correct title, so that others looking for a will or revocable living trust can find it, and so you'll also get responses from people who know that topic and not living wills.

Listing your assets, making sure you know who the beneficiaries are, and figuring out how you want the total dispersed would seem to be a great early step.
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Old 12-08-2009, 11:51 AM   #9
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I think the term "living will" is misleading even for what it stands for--why is a health directive called a "living will" anyway? So I don't blame you for your confusion.

Our "nonliving wills" are very simple--surviving spouse gets it all, then surviving children split that spouses' estate. It was drawn up after our children were adults and names each of us. Our attorney said it's pretty much what a court in our state would do if we didn't have a will.

At the same time we also did a "living will" that spelled out what measures we wanted taken, with DD specified as having final say re life support.
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Old 12-08-2009, 12:08 PM   #10
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I used what was left of my moderator powers and changed the thread title.
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Old 12-08-2009, 01:28 PM   #11
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For my will and living will I used this product Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning - Law Books, Legal Forms & Software - Nolo I did this because I have a very simple will. By CT state law, if I did not have a will my estate transfers to my daughter. This is also how the will reads.

Another point is that most of my assets are in IRA's and my daughter is the beneficiary. It is my understanding that your IRA (or other account) beneficiary designation takes priority over what's in your will, so be sure you have them correct and keep them up to date.

If I had a complex estate and or will, I would hire an estate lawyer.
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Old 12-08-2009, 05:50 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Bikerdude View Post
For my will and living will I used this product Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning - Law Books, Legal Forms & Software - Nolo I did this because I have a very simple will......
That's exactly what I've used also, and for the same reason.

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Originally Posted by Bikerdude View Post
Another point is that most of my assets are in IRA's and my daughter is the beneficiary. It is my understanding that your IRA (or other account) beneficiary designation takes priority over what's in your will, so be sure you have them correct and keep them up to date.....
Both our family attorney and our friend who is the V.P. at our bank told us the same thing. So it's just a matter of making certain that you have the beneficiaries (and their %) listed correctly on each of your accounts. That also makes it easier when opening new accounts, so you don't have to continually be updating your will to reflect the additional accounts and/or changes....which could get fairly expensive.
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