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Old 08-15-2011, 02:40 PM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
5,177 posts, read 8,705,154 times
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If you are self employed today, you should have an attorney just in case.

I'm a mortgage broker and I will tell you - attorneys are worth their weight in gold.

One attorney I work literally saved a property by researching the chain of title - long story but it was a win win for the client.
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
326 posts, read 674,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bette View Post
If you are self employed today, you should have an attorney just in case.

I'm a mortgage broker and I will tell you - attorneys are worth their weight in gold.

One attorney I work literally saved a property by researching the chain of title - long story but it was a win win for the client.
I am glad you have good experience with attorneys.
A friend of mine hired an attorney to do her will. Among a list of charities and the amount each get, she told him her house would go to a charity in NY. The guy listed all but left her house out (the house probably worth $1-1.5million). She off course caught it during review. But she told me it is a common scheme that some attorneys pull on their clients, especially older clients. They omit your house on your will, if not caught, when you pass away, since the house is not designated to anyone specific, it has to be sold, guess handled by whom - the attorney, who will just snatch it for nothing.

While I had to use an attorney once for our first house closing (maybe also the following closings, but not sure), they guy messed up communicating with the seller and made us lost a few hundred dollars repair cost.

Many bad attorney stories make me not want to deal with attorney as much as possible. Among the unethical and incompetent ones, I do not know my chance of finding a good one. But I will have to try.
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Where the sun likes to shine!!
20,517 posts, read 26,400,002 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cls88 View Post
Lately those nice thread/posts regarding assets/inheritances reminded me that we really need to set up a will. But ours should be simple, a couple of sentences should cover everything we need in a will, like "The surviving spouse will get everything including real estate, retirement accounts, life insurance, etc., unless specified beneficiary listed for any particular fund. The 2 kids will get 50% each of everything (above stated) if we both die the same time."

If we print this and get it notarized, will it serve as legal paper or do we have a get a lawyer to draft such a simple thing?
I would let an attorney from your state do it just to be on the safe side. Just make sure you check over everything before you sign.

Don't forget about your funeral plans.

Last year I had my will re done, durable power of attorney, medical power of attorney, and a living will. I believe it was about $100.00.


Here is a site I found that might cover the basics for you. I know nothing about this company so please do your own research and make your own decisions
MyTexasWills.com
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
326 posts, read 674,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by younglisa7 View Post
I would let an attorney from your state do it just to be on the safe side. Just make sure you check over everything before you sign.

Don't forget about your funeral plans.

Last year I had my will re done, durable power of attorney, medical power of attorney, and a living will. I believe it was about $100.00.


Here is a site I found that might cover the basics for you. I know nothing about this company so please do your own research and make your own decisions
MyTexasWills.com
Thank you very much for the info! I'll check the link. I never knew one could include funeral plans in the will too. Good to know!

I heard living expenses is good in TN, but didn't think you lawyers are more affordable too. I was told it's about $1000-1500 depending on how complicated it is here in Austin.
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:34 PM
 
10,839 posts, read 14,878,988 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cls88 View Post
Thank you very much for the info! I'll check the link. I never knew one could include funeral plans in the will too. Good to know!

I heard living expenses is good in TN, but didn't think you lawyers are more affordable too. I was told it's about $1000-1500 depending on how complicated it is here in Austin.
I paid $500 to a lawyer for my will and health care power of attorney.

The will did not mention any of my financial accounts, it does not have too. It shows my house and the personal property (contents of house, cars, etc.)

My will executor often rides with my parent. So, since things happen, I named a first alternate will exceutor and a second alternate. This way, if those two travelling together are in an accident, my alternate legally becomes the executor with no more payment to the lawyer.

My Father's will did not mention the existence of any of his 7 financial accounts either. Same lawyer, same state.
However, he left his house to one child but named BOTH children as co-will executors and named them as co-beneficiaries also. So this created a probate ordeal that extended well past the required 8 months to complete probate.

My will was witnessesd by 2 witnesses and I think 2 make it legal.
If you go ahead and name 1st and 2nd alternates for your personal representative and your beneficiaries too, then you may be able to get by with just one legal fee. My lawyer charges $300 for a will. The other $200 was the health care power of attorney.

Question:
What happens if you pass away on February 3, 2050, and your will executor, or sole beneficiary, dies two weeks later?
It would be a mess, and you do not want the "state" to get your property.
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:56 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
326 posts, read 674,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by howard555 View Post
What happens if you pass away on February 3, 2050, and your will executor, or sole beneficiary, dies two weeks later?
It would be a mess, and you do not want the "state" to get your property.
The alternative executor is a great idea. Should one name 2 beneficiaries for all their personal properties, like your dad did? That sounds so complicated. But you raise a really good question. I'll take it to my attorney. Thanks.
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Old 08-15-2011, 06:04 PM
 
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[quote=cls88;20469802]Should one name 2 beneficiaries for all their personal properties, like your dad did? quote]

Do you only have one child?

If you have more than one, then your will must list all of the people who will receive your furniture, cars, etc. It is all called personal property. If you want to leave a few specific items to a niece etc, then list them in your will.
My sister and I were co-beneficiaries on everything but the house. So, we bargained for, divided, took turns choosing, and other methods, to divide the personal property. My Father's will let us decide how to divide it, but his wishes were to divide it evenly in some way.

Each financial account was "transfer on death" or "pay on death" and none were in the will. They wre divided 50% and my Father decided that years before his death. If he had wanted each of us to receive 35% each and the other 30% to a charity, the banks would have had his instructions when he set up the accounts.
Some types of financial accounts are TOD and some are POD.
My father had checking accounts, IRA's, stocks, etc. so some were TOD and some were POD.

If you want your personal property (everything but house and $$) to go to one person then you only need one beneficiary in your will.

My Father had 3 brothers. After their Mother's death, they drew straws and took turns choosing all personal items. When it got to a point where no one wanted anything else, they let each grandchild, etc. come pick items.
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:00 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
326 posts, read 674,700 times
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Howard,

Thanks. I do have two children, and intend to leave everything to both of them 50-50.

If I understood you correctly, if I name one of the children get the house and name both as co-beneficiaries and co-executors, then it should cover all the bases? Or do I have to name both getting the house 50-50?

The TOD and POD are pretty straight forward. We have that on all our monetary accounts.

I am sorry if I sound ignorant. These legal things do make my head spin to all directions. I am glad everyone suggested me to get an attorney.

P.S. Your family has a great system. I think I'll tell the children and hope they will do something similar.


Thanks again.
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:59 AM
 
10,839 posts, read 14,878,988 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cls88 View Post
I do have two children, and intend to everything to both of them 50-50.

If I understood you correctly, if I name one of the children get the house and name both as co-beneficiaries and co-executors, then it should cover all the bases? Or do I have to name both getting the house 50-50?
Who do you want to get the house?

How do you know, that if you name one child as executor, and one child as beneficiary, that the one child will divide everything evenly?

Legally, they do not have to.

They could tell their sibling to go jump.
Yes, you can assume "oh they are best buddies," but legally your will needs to specify your desires.

My families situation was not good at all. My Father left me his house. My sister was co-executor and refused to sign the house over to me until the deadline to close probate was approaching. My sister "expected" to receive money equal to the value of the house before dividing, evenly, the rest of the money.
So, my Father named both of us as co-executors, so we would be equal and feel equal and have to work together to execute the will. I tried to get my Father to spend 15 minutes, once a week, in a room. Keep doing this, until he had made a list of all items in those rooms, one room per week. I even made a list for each room myself, to make it easy for him to just put someone's initial beside each item. He was in bad health and just not in the mood to do it. He just had his will say that we would equally divide his items in some way that we chose. We had to hire lawyers and I spent about $2000. My sister wanted certain items from the house before she would sign the deed over, as well as a symbolic way of protesting my Father's decisions. My Father also told my Mother to leave her house to my sister. So, in his own way, he divided the two houses (both of which he built) and 50-50 on his money and other items.

You should never name one of your kids the sole will executor, unless they are your only child and will inherit everything, or matbe even co-executors. They have to be able to agree on everything.

Consider naming another relative, or a close family friend, or your minister.
Remember, that if the probate court has to get involved and remove the will executor(s) and appoint a new one, the new one gets, I think, 5% of the value of the probated items. And even if you name a close friend, the will executor can request, and receive 5%. Executing the will involves alot of work. Calling all accounts and credit cards and magazine subscriptions, to close and cancel, requesting refunds on the unused portions of the subscriptions, turn in the car tags to get a refund on the property taxes, get the house insured because probate last 8+ months and you want the house insured, and many more duties. And if the will executor lives 2-3 states away......I lived local but my sister was 300 miles away. She wanted all the bills transferred there and mail forwarded. As it turned out, we both had to sign the checks. The bill would be sent to the house in the county where there were located, and where they had to be paid. I'd sign the checks, send them to the other state for my sister to sign and then she'd mail them. Many were late. This was her rule. I was unable to even pay the $5.00 gas bill without her signature, as the checks required both. We had to set up an estate account to handle all the bills until the probate was over.

I guess you know, you'll have to place a death notice in the paper, and give any creditors 8 months to come forward, even though you may not have any debts. Probate can be closed within 90 days after that 8 month period is over. My Father died in June 2009, the 8 months started in early July, that ended in early March and the notice to close probate was received late March, and we had 90 days to close probate. We wrapped it up in late April.

If you will split the house between your two kids, then yes, naming both as co-executors may be ok.
However, the only way they can divide it is to sell it.
Suppose one child would like to live in it as their own?
Their only option would be to pay their sibling the value of half the house. And they may not have the money for that.

I have a cousin and all their parent's money was spent on nursing homes. There is nothing left but the house. The daughter who has lived at her parent's home for decades, wants to stay there. Her adopted brother wants his half. She has no money to pay him for his half. They are now estranged and a lawyer is involved. Naturally the son would not get anything, if he just let his sister have the house. I'm not clear on all the details, but I think that matter has now ruffled the father who is in a nursing home too. He may now be trying to leave the house to his daughter, because she lived at home and took care of both parents in their bad health. The brother could not help on that, other than very frequent visits, as he was married with kids.

If you want things done your way you need a will.
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
326 posts, read 674,700 times
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Howard,

You have clarified lots of confusion for me. Thank you very much!

I think I know what do now. Someone I know knows family law attorneys, and will send me some name later this week. Thanks again for all your help.
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