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Old 08-05-2020, 02:12 PM   #61
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Hi, if I may branch out a bit from this subject, what dos one do if there are no longer close friends or family to do a POD for an IRA and annuity? I understand these cannot be put into a Revocable Living Trust. Will they go on my Will hence on probate? Anticipating big thanks for any help.
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Old 08-05-2020, 02:42 PM   #62
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Hi, if I may branch out a bit from this subject, what dos one do if there are no longer close friends or family to do a POD for an IRA and annuity? I understand these cannot be put into a Revocable Living Trust. Will they go on my Will hence on probate? Anticipating big thanks for any help.
I would suggest reading my comment #50.

Here is a link for a county Probate Code in California regarding this subject.

Probate - County of Alameda - Superior Court of California

I suspect your county in your state should have something similar.

Use caution when taking advice on this forum since different states have different rules.

Generally I do not see anything wrong with a POD on your IRA or Annuity. In California, POD accounts are outside probate because I read the California Probate Code which states specifically that POD accounts are indeed outside Probate. However, I do not know whether POD accounts in your own state are outside probate.

I would also suggest contacting the company managing your IRA or Annuity. They may be familiar with the rules regarding your specific state. If they informed you that you cannot set up a POD account to someone outside your family or a close friend, you may be stuck using a trust.
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:20 PM   #63
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I would suggest reading my comment #50.

Here is a link for a county Probate Code in California regarding this subject.

Probate - County of Alameda - Superior Court of California

I suspect your county in your state should have something similar.

Use caution when taking advice on this forum since different states have different rules.

Generally I do not see anything wrong with a POD on your IRA or Annuity. In California, POD accounts are outside probate because I read the California Probate Code which states specifically that POD accounts are indeed outside Probate. However, I do not know whether POD accounts in your own state are outside probate.

I would also suggest contacting the company managing your IRA or Annuity. They may be familiar with the rules regarding your specific state. If they informed you that you cannot set up a POD account to someone outside your family or a close friend, you may be stuck using a trust.
I read your #50 comment, thanks so much, but your case is very different. You have a family so you can give the POD to any one in your family you choose. But you gave me the great idea of contacting my state to get their requirements, etc. and that I shall do. thank you again!
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Old 08-06-2020, 07:01 AM   #64
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I read your #50 comment, thanks so much, but your case is very different. You have a family so you can give the POD to any one in your family you choose. But you gave me the great idea of contacting my state to get their requirements, etc. and that I shall do. thank you again!
Not having a family generates a rare situation. Generally states have probate codes which define where the assets go if there is no will or other documentation. Spouses first, children second, grandparents, etc. If there are no family, the assets may go to the state if there is no will, POD, trust, etc . You are smart to think about this. If you want your assets to go to a friend, I suggest keeping this a secret because another friend can dispute it. You may want to visit the Probate Court of your county to ask some questions. The people at the counter should steer you in the right direction but they may suggest that you consult an estate attorney if your case is complicated.
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Old 08-07-2020, 10:03 AM   #65
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Not having a family generates a rare situation. Generally states have probate codes which define where the assets go if there is no will or other documentation. Spouses first, children second, grandparents, etc. If there are no family, the assets may go to the state if there is no will, POD, trust, etc . You are smart to think about this. If you want your assets to go to a friend, I suggest keeping this a secret because another friend can dispute it. You may want to visit the Probate Court of your county to ask some questions. The people at the counter should steer you in the right direction but they may suggest that you consult an estate attorney if your case is complicated.
Thank you again. Actually I do have a Will and Trust although my case is very simple, but the 2 types of accounts I had mentioned, I understand, cannot go into them. They must be designated to an individual via POD or similar. But I'll have to inquire of my NYS (my estate attorney doesn't have enough experience but hate to start another search again). Meantime, I have my Trust as beneficiary of these 2 accounts. I see you're quite knowledgeable and have all your accounts properly ready. Thanks again.
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Old 08-07-2020, 10:57 AM   #66
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Thank you again. Actually I do have a Will and Trust although my case is very simple, but the 2 types of accounts I had mentioned, I understand, cannot go into them. They must be designated to an individual via POD or similar. But I'll have to inquire of my NYS (my estate attorney doesn't have enough experience but hate to start another search again). Meantime, I have my Trust as beneficiary of these 2 accounts. I see you're quite knowledgeable and have all your accounts properly ready. Thanks again.

Make sure there is no conflict between your will and your trust. I always consider a will and a trust as similar documents because both documents should list your assets and where the assets should go. If there is a conflict, it may require Probate Court to resolve the conflict depending on your Probate Code in your state.

I also consider a trust to be a superior document to a will. This is because a trust is usually co-signed by an estate attorney. A will isn't. Hence a will can be disputed and contested in Probate Court. It is nearly impossible to contest a Trust since the estate attorney's signature is on it.

If you have both a will and a trust, you may want to state in your will that your assets are listed in your trust and distributed according to the trust to avoid a conflict. A will can be used for non-financial things since as burial, disposition of a pet, books, low value property, etc which would be cumbersome in a trust. You should contact the person who set up the trust for you.

As I implied previously, complications occur when the estate is large or when the survivors do not get along. In that case, people need to reduce the risk by seeing an estate attorney. For people who has a small estate and there is no potential conflict with the survivors, you may be able to get away with a simple will. However, I would recommend that the will be co-signed by at least two witnesses.
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Old 08-07-2020, 11:52 AM   #67
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In most states a will's signature must be witnessed by someone other than a beneficiary. Ideally the witness should not be a family member.
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Old 08-07-2020, 12:36 PM   #68
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Make sure there is no conflict between your will and your trust. I always consider a will and a trust as similar documents because both documents should list your assets and where the assets should go. If there is a conflict, it may require Probate Court to resolve the conflict depending on your Probate Code in your state.

I also consider a trust to be a superior document to a will. This is because a trust is usually co-signed by an estate attorney. A will isn't. Hence a will can be disputed and contested in Probate Court. It is nearly impossible to contest a Trust since the estate attorney's signature is on it.

If you have both a will and a trust, you may want to state in your will that your assets are listed in your trust and distributed according to the trust to avoid a conflict. A will can be used for non-financial things since as burial, disposition of a pet, books, low value property, etc which would be cumbersome in a trust. You should contact the person who set up the trust for you. ...
Caution, caution. This is all about rev trusts aka "living" trusts. Testamentary trusts, established to hold and manage assets after death are a totally different subject.

Also be cautious taking action based on statements like this:
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... I also consider a trust to be a superior document to a will. This is because a trust is usually co-signed by an estate attorney. A will isn't. Hence a will can be disputed and contested in Probate Court. It is nearly impossible to contest a Trust since the estate attorney's signature is on it. ...
I'm sure @chan2177 is a very nice and well-meaning person, but unless he/she is a trusts and estates specialist attorney in your state you would probably be better off consulting a real expert. Specifically, it is not true that a rev trust is nearly impossible to contest. Anything can be contested; the plaintiff just has to file the papers and pay the attorney and court fees.

Another thing to remember with this POD stuff is that things change. Specifically, people die and the designations must be kept carefully up to date. This is true with everything in an estate plan, of course, but if the wills do not cover everything some outside-the-wills important beneficiary revisions may be overlooked during an update.
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Old 08-07-2020, 01:46 PM   #69
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68 posts in a thread entitled "Is there a need for a will?" and climbing.

Hire a lawyer. It isn't hard. It also isn't expensive. And doing so is also prudent.

It's only expensive -- figuratively and literally -- if you don't hire a lawyer and/or do the "self lawyer" thing on the internet.

I remain dumbfounded by people who: (1) seek legal advice on the internet; and (2) offer such advice. The former have poor judgment, and the latter are both irresponsible and otherwise begging to be sued.
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Old 08-07-2020, 03:38 PM   #70
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Not having a family generates a rare situation. Generally states have probate codes which define where the assets go if there is no will or other documentation. Spouses first, children second, grandparents, etc. If there are no family, the assets may go to the state if there is no will, POD, trust, etc . You are smart to think about this. If you want your assets to go to a friend, I suggest keeping this a secret because another friend can dispute it. You may want to visit the Probate Court of your county to ask some questions. The people at the counter should steer you in the right direction but they may suggest that you consult an estate attorney if your case is complicated.
Given that you appear to not have first cousins, then you could search for second cousins, and name them, Of course if you want your assets to go to a charity you could do a charitable remainder trust i.e get some income now but the principal would go to the charity.
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Old 08-07-2020, 03:42 PM   #71
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Given that you appear to not have first cousins, then you could search for second cousins, and name them, Of course if you want your assets to go to a charity you could do a charitable remainder trust i.e get some income now but the principal would go to the charity.
Or simply just leave it to the charity in the will. CRT gives a tax deduction that may or may not be needed. In our case we have three charities that equally share 1/3 of the estate with 2/3 going to testamentary trusts for kids and grands. No CRT.
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Old 08-07-2020, 04:22 PM   #72
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Make sure there is no conflict between your will and your trust. I always consider a will and a trust as similar documents because both documents should list your assets and where the assets should go. If there is a conflict, it may require Probate Court to resolve the conflict depending on your Probate Code in your state.

I also consider a trust to be a superior document to a will. This is because a trust is usually co-signed by an estate attorney. A will isn't. Hence a will can be disputed and contested in Probate Court. It is nearly impossible to contest a Trust since the estate attorney's signature is on it.

If you have both a will and a trust, you may want to state in your will that your assets are listed in your trust and distributed according to the trust to avoid a conflict. A will can be used for non-financial things since as burial, disposition of a pet, books, low value property, etc which would be cumbersome in a trust. You should contact the person who set up the trust for you.

As I implied previously, complications occur when the estate is large or when the survivors do not get along. In that case, people need to reduce the risk by seeing an estate attorney. For people who has a small estate and there is no potential conflict with the survivors, you may be able to get away with a simple will. However, I would recommend that the will be co-signed by at least two witnesses.
Hi Vchan, thanks for the alerts. But my documents are very complete and the Will and Trust do have the same content. My Will has been signed by my estate attorney and by 2 witnesses and myself as did also the Trust. My only problem is I don't know what to do with my IRA and Annuity, but I'll have to think more and harder.

No survivals of mine fighting over inheritance lol! I don't have survivals. Only my charities. I thank you again.
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Old 08-07-2020, 04:38 PM   #73
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Caution, caution. This is all about rev trusts aka "living" trusts. Testamentary trusts, established to hold and manage assets after death are a totally different subject.

Also be cautious taking action based on statements like this: I'm sure @chan2177 is a very nice and well-meaning person, but unless he/she is a trusts and estates specialist attorney in your state you would probably be better off consulting a real expert. Specifically, it is not true that a rev trust is nearly impossible to contest. Anything can be contested; the plaintiff just has to file the papers and pay the attorney and court fees.

Another thing to remember with this POD stuff is that things change. Specifically, people die and the designations must be kept carefully up to date. This is true with everything in an estate plan, of course, but if the wills do not cover everything some outside-the-wills important beneficiary revisions may be overlooked during an update.
I agree Old Shooter, but sometimes is good to read what others are saying and then CONSULT YOUR ESTATE LAWYER. I do this because my lawyer doesn't explain anything so I tell him what I read and expect him to approve or disapprove - mostly he does neither! Grrrrrrrrrrr!

I understand things and beneficiaries change so of course one must follow closely and make all necessary changes. But my problem isn't this, my problem is I don't know what to do with those 2 accounts. Honestly I don't know why the State complicates things by not accepting us putting EVERYTHING into both Wills and Trusts. Why must one be combing hairs with our possessions into documents?

Anyway, thanks again. BTW, I read it's much more difficult to contest a revocable living trust than a will...
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Old 08-07-2020, 04:45 PM   #74
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Or simply just leave it to the charity in the will. CRT gives a tax deduction that may or may not be needed. In our case we have three charities that equally share 1/3 of the estate with 2/3 going to testamentary trusts for kids and grands. No CRT.
OS, I guess I already mentioned, at least in NYS, no IRS or annuities should go on Wills. Why? I haven't the slightest!!! lol!
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Old 08-07-2020, 04:48 PM   #75
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Given that you appear to not have first cousins, then you could search for second cousins, and name them, Of course if you want your assets to go to a charity you could do a charitable remainder trust i.e get some income now but the principal would go to the charity.
Good idea meierlde! I'll have to look into it.

So I think this thread has been completed now. THANK YOU ALL for your valuable opinions! Bye....
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Old 08-07-2020, 04:54 PM   #76
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I agree Old Shooter, but sometimes is good to read what others are saying and then CONSULT YOUR ESTATE LAWYER. ...
Yes. You are doing it right. An educated customer is a good customer and is able to use an advisor cost-effectively.

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Anyway, thanks again. BTW, I read it's much more difficult to contest a revocable living trust than a will...
That may well be; I don't know. With well-written documents the plaintiff rarely loses, but the legal bills that the trust or executor pays can be significant. That is the problem with contested documents.

As a long-time trust professional DW was regularly in court with unhappy beneficiaries or to get problem documents fixed. She never lost a case.

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... My only problem is I don't know what to do with my IRA and Annuity, but I'll have to think more and harder. ...
If you're looking for a home for the money: One of our three charities is a community foundation. I don't know the legal details but ours concentrates in the local area and its grant sizes allow our money to have identifiable impact. This is in contrast to the big national charities where six figures is just a drop in the bucket. We are funding with QCDs so our fund can't be officially donor advised but we consult regularly with the staff on ideas and priorities. It's kind of fun actually. We've fixed roofs, bought food cards for people, fixed failed wells, ... The rule is that we help people in crisis and do not take on chronic problems that can become entitlements. One time we bought all the parts for a local HS auto shop class to fix up a car, then it was donated to a needy person. Maybe there is one of those in your area. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_foundation, Profiles | Community Foundation Atlas
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Old 08-07-2020, 06:42 PM   #77
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I agree Old Shooter, but sometimes is good to read what others are saying and then CONSULT YOUR ESTATE LAWYER. I do this because my lawyer doesn't explain anything so I tell him what I read and expect him to approve or disapprove - mostly he does neither! Grrrrrrrrrrr!

I understand things and beneficiaries change so of course one must follow closely and make all necessary changes. But my problem isn't this, my problem is I don't know what to do with those 2 accounts. Honestly I don't know why the State complicates things by not accepting us putting EVERYTHING into both Wills and Trusts. Why must one be combing hairs with our possessions into documents?

Anyway, thanks again. BTW, I read it's much more difficult to contest a revocable living trust than a will...

OK. Now I understand your situation: It appears that you have two accounts which your state does not allow you to put the two accounts in your will or trust.

I presume your state mandates that you to designate the two accounts as POD accounts. Your problem is that you do not have a designated person as a beneficiary.

It is my understanding that a charity can be designated as a beneficiary on a POD account. In some states, I do believe that the charity must be a recognized charity by the state government.

I also share your frustration with your attorney. I worked with attorneys for 10 years before I retire. When you ask an attorney a complicated question, they tend to avoid providing you with a straight answer. This is because they do not want to accept any liabilities. I also hired many attorneys in the past and I have learned to ask the question is such a way that makes it easy for them to answer. Generally, a question without any qualifying statements can make it hard for the attorney.

I suggest attempting to make your favorite charity as the beneficiary. This is better than making the state government the beneficiary which may be by default in your state since you do not have any surviving relatives. If you read my previous comment, you may be able to get free advice by visiting the public counter of your county Probate Court. Your county may offer free general advice on this subject. I used to work for the county government so I have knowledge of the county's services. However, each county is also different so it is a hit or miss situation.

Once you do make a charity your default beneficary, you can always change it in the future. This is because relationships may change over time.
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Old 08-07-2020, 07:04 PM   #78
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Hi, if I may branch out a bit from this subject, what dos one do if there are no longer close friends or family to do a POD for an IRA and annuity? I understand these cannot be put into a Revocable Living Trust. Will they go on my Will hence on probate? Anticipating big thanks for any help.

Re your IRA, if there is no beneficiary, if should go into your estate; and be distributed according to the terms of your will. Of course, check with your attorney to confirm. I am not familiar with the terms of your annuity; many cease upon death. Without knowing more about it, I could not say.

Typically, people name a beneficiary to avoid a particular asset being part of their estate, but in your situation, that is not an issue. Good luck Rosedala.
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Old 08-07-2020, 08:12 PM   #79
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Or simply just leave it to the charity in the will. CRT gives a tax deduction that may or may not be needed. In our case we have three charities that equally share 1/3 of the estate with 2/3 going to testamentary trusts for kids and grands. No CRT.

the advantage of a crt is you eliminate the probate costs lawyers court fees etc. (In particular now that the federal estate tax won't bite many folks)
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Old 08-08-2020, 09:05 AM   #80
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the advantage of a crt is you eliminate the probate costs lawyers court fees etc. (In particular now that the federal estate tax won't bite many folks)
The cost is to permanently lose control of significant assets. That may be too high a price. I think the bogeyman tail of "probate" should not wag the investment decision dog as the OP makes his decision.
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