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Old 08-17-2011, 04:57 PM
 
71,759 posts, read 71,853,273 times
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even general practitioners may drop the ball when constructing wills and trusts if thats not their specialty.

after all the snags i have hit in my life with flaws cropping up i wouldnt use anyone who is not an estate attorney and a pro at this type of work..

besides the refinance issue i had when my ex-wife and i refinanced there was another biggie my current wife and i had with a defect in a will and trust.

my wifes first husband who is deceased had 2 children from his first marriage. his dad wrote those children out of a family owned business because they were estranged..

well my wifes first husband died right after his dad but before his mom. after his mom died a few years later the judge who was probating things said that even though the documents say the step children from that first marriage are not to get anything they still have to be notified there is a will and trust.


so the step children were tracked down and notified. now they get lawyers... well the lawyers now read the trust and realize they left out a sentence about what if the son predecease his mom...

as air tight as the grand parents tried to make this in the will and trust so the step children got nothing this omitted sentence about pre-deceasing opened the door for them to wiggle in.

the judge said that he saw their grandfathers intention was to give them nothing but he cant re-write history and add the missing words. the trust had a defect now and may not be able to be used.so if the judge went with my wifes deceased husbands will it read he wanted to provide for all children in contrast to his fathers will which wanted the step children to get nothing.

well a court battle started and it cost us 100k in legal fees and 400k to buy them out of the business.

all because of a missing sentence.


when my wife and i did ours we went to an estate attorney and when we read the documents the lawyer created for us we had in his version all the words that were missing from the other situations and we didnt say a thing in advance about these stories. it was just a very well constructed will and trust.

it pays to do it right because there is no second chance to fix missing words or sentences.

even if you feel you have nothing complex a wrongful death or accident may give your heirs alot more then you expected and you want everything just the way you want it with little chance for error.

Last edited by mathjak107; 08-17-2011 at 05:47 PM..
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Old 08-18-2011, 02:14 AM
 
71,759 posts, read 71,853,273 times
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just out of curiosity i took a look in the willmaker kit at their canned documents . to be honest it would have flunked too.

it leaves to many things to you to know. perfect example is you would have blown the only child thing i spoke of as there is only a place to fill in a name.

no guidance that you better make sure you spell it out that there are no other children.


other issues are that the subject of witnesses and the types of questions that should be asked of these witnesses is not there.

here in ny good protocal involves asking if the people doing the will are on any medication. do they understand what they are signing, are they doing this of their own free will etc etc.

all very important question if someone contests a will.

all very very important to do in 2nd marriages. its not the law but could saves lots of grief later on .

the canned trust i looked at had no provisions either for predeceasing.

like i said when it comes to these types of documents nothing is a problem until its a problem. they all look more than good enough outside of a court room.

most things you will have problems with would only come up through a lawyers experience of working with countless documents through the court system and hitting these issues. the more focused a lawyer is in that area the greater his experiences should be and the more issues he should be aware of. you can be assured that the lawyers on both sides of our case have in the wills and trusts they do sections pertaining to the issues they hit with us.

Last edited by mathjak107; 08-18-2011 at 02:52 AM..
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Old 08-18-2011, 05:46 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
326 posts, read 674,572 times
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mathjak,

Thank you again for the posts and real life examples. They are most helpful for me to see what I supposedly to look for in a will. I was asking a lawyer friend (family law) to recommend an attorney. Now I think I better search for an estate attorney. I will see if there are some recommendations on yelp or something like that. Thanks!
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Old 08-18-2011, 06:18 AM
 
10,839 posts, read 14,872,141 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cls88 View Post
mathjak,

Thank you again for the posts and real life examples. They are most helpful for me to see what I supposedly to look for in a will. I was asking a lawyer friend (family law) to recommend an attorney. Now I think I better search for an estate attorney. I will see if there are some recommendations on yelp or something like that. Thanks!
You should get a Health Care Power of Attorney too. The same lawyer can handle that.
Someone messed up on my Father's. It named me and my sister as agent.
Then throughout the document it only spoke of "my agent." I read it over and over and it clearly said me AND my sister, not me OR my sister.
My sister pulled the plug on life support without my knowledge or permission. My desire would have been to wait the 5-6 hours for me to get to the hospital and get the doctors to do a brain scan for normal activity.
Medicare would not have failed to pay the bills for another 5-6 hours.
A lawyer said I could file suit against my sister for any number of dollars. But, the jury would question why I waited 2+ years, and the document was slightly vague about the AND/OR.
The statute of limitations in my state is 3 years. The time limit to file suit against the hospital for taking instructions over the phone was 2 years and the time had passed. He said the legal fees would not justify the potential judgement against my sister.

Everyone should have a copy of your health care power of attorney. Your family doctor needs a copy, you should take one to the hospital with you no matter what the reason is for your admittance, and give a copy to your health care agent and any alternates.

My sister may have pulled the plug on someone with normal brain activity. The hospital did not have a copy and they should have had a copy.
She should have told them to keep my Father alive until I could get up there the next morning. 5-6 measley hours, then we could have both made the decision, TOGETHER = democracy and consideration of MY wishes.

The point on all of this is:
YOU have to put everything you want done, in writing. If not, others may, or will, make decisions and they might make the wrong decisions.
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
326 posts, read 674,572 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by howard555 View Post
The point on all of this is:
YOU have to put everything you want done, in writing. If not, others may, or will, make decisions and they might make the wrong decisions.
I see how important this is and will for sure to get this done, plus the funeral instructions. Thank you very much.
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Old 08-18-2011, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Alaska
5,356 posts, read 16,356,662 times
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At this point in time, our situation is simple so we used a software package. Spouse gets everything should either die and kids split everything equally should we both die. If the kids don't like the split, they can fight it out. I won't care because I'd be dead then. If our situation gets more complex, then I'd definitely seek legal help.

I will say the original software had a problem, saying county when we live in a borough, but an update fixed it.
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Old 08-18-2011, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Lexington, SC
4,281 posts, read 10,746,658 times
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akck

Did you not see many posters say that it is "trickier" then a simple fill in the blanks form.

Question:

Are she, you, and me..three entities..1/3 to each?

Are she, you and me...two...entities...1/2 to her and you and I split the other half as in 1/4 to you and 1/4 to me?

The difference is simply a comma.

While I advocated and used a lawyer myself (as I posted earlier), overall I basically think they are all scumbags but based on the above comma, one of them, somewhere, for the correct billable hour rate, will take it on.

Overall the only difference between my lawyer and your lawyer, is that one of them is my scumbag.....LOL
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Old 08-18-2011, 04:53 PM
 
28,266 posts, read 39,927,756 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by accufitgolf View Post
akck

Did you not see many posters say that it is "trickier" then a simple fill in the blanks form.

Question:

Are she, you, and me..three entities..1/3 to each?

Are she, you and me...two...entities...1/2 to her and you and I split the other half as in 1/4 to you and 1/4 to me?

The difference is simply a comma.

While I advocated and used a lawyer myself (as I posted earlier), overall I basically think they are all scumbags but based on the above comma, one of them, somewhere, for the correct billable hour rate, will take it on.

Overall the only difference between my lawyer and your lawyer, is that one of them is my scumbag.....LOL
You are making the assumption that a lawyer will add (or not, depending) that comma. My experience with lawyers (except for one) is that they will screw it up and charge you to fix the error later (if it is caught) even though it was their mistake.
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Old 08-18-2011, 04:59 PM
 
71,759 posts, read 71,853,273 times
Reputation: 49307
lawyers did both the wills that we had defects in .. that kind of tells me if they cant get every aspect right what chance do we have on our own.

many of the defects and glitches are only learned about through expeience and handling case after case. most general practioners are no better than the document i spit out from will-maker. that document still had the issues i ran into.

your best served by using someone who does this end of law for a living and gets to really deal with a huge amount of issues and cases
.

they wont cover every situation but you will fair alot better then your own canned one.
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Old 08-19-2011, 12:14 AM
 
9,916 posts, read 9,310,188 times
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We have a Will our attorney drafted for us. It leaves everything to our children 1/3, 1/3. 1/3. The home and land is to be sold and divided three ways unless one of the kids wants to buy the other two out. Then home and land is to be appraised and sold in that manner with said child paying other two. It's worded better than that.

But ... I have things in my home we have verbally told our three ... the hall tree that belonged to my great grandmother goes to daughter #1 ... the wash stand and bowl & pitcher that belonged to same great grandmother goes to daughter #2 ... my mothers rings and my grandmother's pearls go to this one ... and so forth. My husbands guns, swords, bows and knives go to or son & grandson. This is not in the will just verbal. We didn't get down to the nit picking of things like that. These are keepsakes but they can sell them if they want.

Our Will does include a proper burial and marker.

Should we add a codicle to our Will or can I type up something and place it with the Will regarding personal items?

Our children (ages 33 to 40) get along good and I just don't want a break in the family when hubby and I are dead and gone but I have seen that happen so often with many families.
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