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check your wills if you have grandchildren.
Old 04-19-2014, 05:42 AM   #1
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check your wills if you have grandchildren.

we finally got ourselves to an estate attorney to talk about retirement and long term care planning.

we brought our documents we drew up 12 years ago with us and pretty much everything we did had to be re-done as things were out dated or worded wrong for our current situation.

one of the biggest things that obsoleted our old wills were they never took in to account the kids pre-deceasing when grandchildren are involved .

we had noooooooooo granchildren when our wills were first done.

basically it read that if one of our children died their share went to the surving children.

but that is not what we want now ,especially in a 2nd marriage where we each have our own kids.

now we want a deceased childs share to go not to the surving children but we want that childs share to go to their children (our grandchildren)

i suggest you read your wills and see how the wording is, many times the canned forms do not leave things to the grandchildren , the share just goes to the other surviving children and the grandchildren get nothing if their parent died.

in fact we have seen wills by general practioners not even have wording that deals with what happens if a child dies before the parents and their are multiple children in the will.

we had one that omitted that point and it ended up in a costly court battle because the probate court declared the will defective since it involved by wifes deceased first husband dying before his parents.

since other children were involved it did not spell out whether assets went to just the other surviving children or stayed in the deceased persons bloodline and went to their children instead of other family members.

predeceasing is not something that is just automatically dealt with in wills since things typically go from father to mother to kids.

but they rarely spell out what happens if a kid dies before the parents .
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:13 AM   #2
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In my state, Pennsylvania, we learned that in our situation of each having one child from a previous marriage, that if we were in an accident and one of us had died right away, all of our assets would go to the surviving spouse. If the surviving spouse had died 30 minutes later, all assets would go to that spouse's child, leaving the other child without anything. That was eye opening.
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:24 AM   #3
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you mean if you didn't have a will in that case ,yes?
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check your wills if you have grandchildren.
Old 04-19-2014, 06:37 AM   #4
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check your wills if you have grandchildren.

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Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
you mean if you didn't have a will in that case ,yes?

In our case, we did a trust instead of just a will. But yes, if we had left it up to state law to decide how assets were t be divided without a will or trust, that is what would have happened.
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:52 AM   #5
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In my state, Pennsylvania, we learned that in our situation of each having one child from a previous marriage, that if we were in an accident and one of us had died right away, all of our assets would go to the surviving spouse. If the surviving spouse had died 30 minutes later, all assets would go to that spouse's child, leaving the other child without anything. That was eye opening.

Yes, this can happen... you can add language to say that is both died within say 30 days, it means you both died at the same time...


OR, instead of having assets go to surviving spouse and worry about the blond bimbo entering the picture... you can leave the assets in a trust for benefit of spouse and when he/she dies it goes to children....
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:55 AM   #6
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To OP...


There are some people who do not want to provide for grandkids... my mom is one... if one of my siblings dies, then it is split between the rest of the kids... I asked her a number of times if that is what she wanted and she said yes... she has some specific assets going to grandkids and they are also in a trust...
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Old 04-19-2014, 08:52 AM   #7
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The "normal" way to handle the assets going to the grandchildren is to use the term "per stripes" (Per stirpes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia for details).

Of course more complicated family situations are more common these days and then spelling it all out make sense.

Still, if you have a non-complicated situation, it's good to know what per stripes means.

For example, I was reviewing my Vanguard account beneficiaries this week and one of the options is "To my descendants who survive me, per stripes".
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Old 04-19-2014, 10:49 AM   #8
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The "normal" way to handle the assets going to the grandchildren is to use the term "per stripes" (Per stirpes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia for details).

Of course more complicated family situations are more common these days and then spelling it all out make sense.

Still, if you have a non-complicated situation, it's good to know what per stripes means.

For example, I was reviewing my Vanguard account beneficiaries this week and one of the options is "To my descendants who survive me, per stripes".
Thanks for the link. It also addresses my question regarding my children's spouses.

Quote:
The spouses of the children (that is, spouses of B, C, and D) are not considered. Spouses are not a part of the branch. Therefore, even if B, C, or D died leaving a spouse as well as children, all (100%) of the assets pass to the children and (0%) nothing passes to the spouses of A's children B, C, and D. From the example above, if A's child B died before A's death, A's grandchildren B1 and B2 would each receive half of B's share. Even if B had a living spouse at the time of A's death, that person would receive nothing from A's estate.
This is good if my children predecease us. But, if we die before the children do and the assets pass on to them, how do I keep the assets to stay with my grandchildren when my children die leaving their spouses.
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Old 04-19-2014, 11:10 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by mpeirce View Post
The "normal" way to handle the assets going to the grandchildren is to use the term "per stripes" (Per stirpes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia for details).

Of course more complicated family situations are more common these days and then spelling it all out make sense.

Still, if you have a non-complicated situation, it's good to know what per stripes means.

For example, I was reviewing my Vanguard account beneficiaries this week and one of the options is "To my descendants who survive me, per stripes".

Not to get sidetracked... but it is 'per stIRpes', not stRIpes.....

The first is ster-pees.... second.... well, a line....
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Old 04-19-2014, 11:40 AM   #10
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In our case, we did a trust instead of just a will. But yes, if we had left it up to state law to decide how assets were t be divided without a will or trust, that is what would have happened.
I'm sure your attourny made you aware of PAs' wonderful inheritance tax and the 4-6 months Harrisburg takes to ensure your heirs paid their share. I don't know if a trust can help with the payment upon death. Our family learned of this after the heirs accounts were frozen by the state.
Best wishes,
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Old 04-19-2014, 12:08 PM   #11
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This is good if my children predecease us. But, if we die before the children do and the assets pass on to them, how do I keep the assets to stay with my grandchildren when my children die leaving their spouses.
Once the assets go to your children, then it's theirs and they can do what they want with it - leave it to their kids or to their spouse or to someone else - or spend it all frivolously!

If you really want control from the grave, then you probably need a trust that controls the assets. That gets complicated and often doesn't really work out as intended.
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Old 04-20-2014, 05:58 AM   #12
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I'm sure your attourny made you aware of PAs' wonderful inheritance tax and the 4-6 months Harrisburg takes to ensure your heirs paid their share. I don't know if a trust can help with the payment upon death. Our family learned of this after the heirs accounts were frozen by the state.
Best wishes,
MRG

We're planning to move to Florida...so unless our demise is before that we'll be okay.
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:28 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by mpeirce View Post
The "normal" way to handle the assets going to the grandchildren is to use the term "per stripes" (Per stirpes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia for details).

Of course more complicated family situations are more common these days and then spelling it all out make sense.

Still, if you have a non-complicated situation, it's good to know what per stripes means.

For example, I was reviewing my Vanguard account beneficiaries this week and one of the options is "To my descendants who survive me, per stripes".
actually more and more wills are not using that term as it is a very ambiguous term in the way things can play out. our new wills we picked up friday do not use that term at all. they clearly specify exactly how things are to play out.

in fact one of the largest legal web sites NOLO has this to say :

At Nolo, we don't use the term "per stirpes" in our wills because we think that a will is better off without it. "Per stirpes" is an old-fashioned term frequently used (sometimes misused) by attorneys and rarely fully understood by will makers. It's intended to make sure that children inherit in the place of a deceased parent, but over the years there have been many lawsuits surrounding the term, with varying results. Because of these variables, using per stirpes may have unpredictable or unintended consequences."
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Old 04-20-2014, 07:04 AM   #14
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mathjak107:
Thanks for bringing this up,we wrote our wills prior to grandchildren also.
Need to look into this.
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Old 04-20-2014, 07:07 AM   #15
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thanks. i only brought it up because our old wills were done so long ago the kids were not even married so everything was per capita and we were not even aware of it at this point.


now we have a few grandkids and all the kids are married but i certainly couldn't remember how our old wills were constructed.

the visit to the estate attorney on friday made me more aware that there must be so many others like us running on old out dated wills.
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Old 04-20-2014, 08:54 AM   #16
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> "At Nolo, we don't use the term "per stirpes" in our wills because we think that a will is better off without it."

I was once told by a lawyer that "per stirpes" (ha!, it's autocorrect that keeps changing that to stripes!) works just fine for traditional families, but not so well for the blended or other non-traditional families that are more common these days (and that applies at each generation as well). I expect that's what Nolo is referring to.

I personally don't use it because I want to treat my step-daughter the same as my son for inheritance purposes.

For simple wills for simple families specifying per stirpes is probably a good idea. For more complicated situations specifying more elaborate instructions makes more sense, but the down side if you have to keep it up-to-date as family members are born, die, marry, and divorce in your family.
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Old 04-20-2014, 09:08 AM   #17
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the best thing is see a good estate attorney. even the simple things can turn in to nightmares .

we once had a refinance stopped on an inherited house because one word was over looked in the will.

the will read and to my child xxx i leave my house and all possesions.

well the title company said the word "only" as in only child was missing. we had to pay the bank attorney and the title company attorney for the day , lost our rate and had to get affidavates from family members that there were no other children.

we had a major snafu in a inherited partnership in a business where the pre-deceasing of a child was poorly spelled out as to what happens next if that happened .

it cost us 500k in unexpected costs to buy out unintended partners who potentially could now have a share.

while wills look fine to us what goes on under the hood can be a real minefield.

while not required our attorney asked certain questions of us in front of the witnesses. do we know what the wills are , are we on medications , are we pressured to sign , etc etc.

none of this is law nor would i have known to do it had i just printed a form . but in a 2nd marriage doing certain protocals can save lots of trouble later.

as the probate court judge said he can clearly see the intentions in the will but he can not re-write history or fill in missing words to make it play out that way.

it is best to leave your final documents in the hands of capable attorneys then try to save a few bucks navagating this on your own..
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:11 PM   #18
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actually more and more wills are not using that term as it is a very ambiguous term in the way things can play out. our new wills we picked up friday do not use that term at all. they clearly specify exactly how things are to play out.

in fact one of the largest legal web sites NOLO has this to say :

At Nolo, we don't use the term "per stirpes" in our wills because we think that a will is better off without it. "Per stirpes" is an old-fashioned term frequently used (sometimes misused) by attorneys and rarely fully understood by will makers. It's intended to make sure that children inherit in the place of a deceased parent, but over the years there have been many lawsuits surrounding the term, with varying results. Because of these variables, using per stirpes may have unpredictable or unintended consequences."

I have not kept up with the changes in the laws.... so this is interesting...


I will give another problem that can crop up as unintended.... not spelling out who you mean by children or grandchildren...

Many decades ago when I was doing taxes... there was an estate that had been in litigation for years... the lady who died just wrote on the back of an envelope that she leaves everything to her son and grand kids.... Son thinks this means he gets half and the grand kids split the other half... since this was a very large estate.... some other kids of son that were not known came out of the woodwork and said 'we are grand kids also, we want our share'....

So, it was the known grand kids fighting their dad.... the dad fighting all his kids and the previously unknown grands fighting to get anything....

If mom (grand mom) had put down %s and names, all of this would have been moot....
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Old 04-20-2014, 05:06 PM   #19
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like the problems the ommission of a comma can make.

me,you and him is not the same as me,you ,and him
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Old 04-20-2014, 07:06 PM   #20
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like the problems the ommission of a comma can make.

me,you and him is not the same as me,you ,and him

Yes commas are important as the two sentences below show:

A woman without her man is nothing.

Or

A woman, without her, man is nothing.
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