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Old 09-22-2011, 09:42 PM
Location: earth?
7,288 posts, read 10,847,719 times
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I am still working on my will . . .I think I have figured out how I want to split my estate . . . now I am wondering if people tell their beneficiaries the details about how it is split up, etc.?

What have you done and what was your reasoning?

Also, please note equal or unequal share info in terms of any relevance to the question or as it impacted your decision to disclose early or keep all the details confidential until your demise.

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Old 09-23-2011, 02:01 AM
796 posts, read 776,271 times
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In my personal situation I would not tell.

The reason is that although there is money as of today, who knows what the future will bring. I may end up in a situation healthwise where I would need the money for care such as an assisted living facility where insurance might not pay. Maybe I would want to remain in my own home and while insurance might pay part of home care I would use the money for that. Any number of things could come up that I might need to spend what money I currently have today.

The point I am trying to make is that I would not want to tell someone what they would be getting and then in the end there is nothing left to give.

For someone with a very large estate that is probably something that wouldn't have to be considered.
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Old 09-23-2011, 03:27 AM
Location: Grove City, Ohio
10,128 posts, read 12,373,396 times
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I would tell, why not?

I would want everyone to know what it is I want to give them. But I would follow it up with my desire to spend everything on wild parties before I left this world so don't count on it.
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Old 09-23-2011, 05:28 AM
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Due to circumstances changing whether be it financial, relationships (current and future), or deaths of heirs, IMO I would not disclose details. Not sure what the point would be as your Will would have any pertinent information possibly as a codicil included.
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Old 09-23-2011, 05:58 AM
Location: Where the sun likes to shine!!
20,517 posts, read 26,366,841 times
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I think it depends on your situation......and situations can change. Things can be very complicated for those left behind. I think it is a good idea to prepare your executor. Not everyone else needs the details but the executor should have a heads up.

My biggest worry is my stepdaughter will sell things at a yard or estate sale and get a quarter of what things are worth. My husband and I have started a list for her of things like farm equipment, baseball cards, jewelry, etc. and their "current" value. Hopefully the list will help her to think about checking prices before she sells

My stepdaughter knows she is the executer of our wills and we have tried to organize things for her. She will be left in good shape but it will be a complicated time for her. We are trying to make it so the transaction of things go smoothly. She will have to make decisions about real estate and our stuff. I just hope she doesn't "give" it all away...even though it will be hers

Last edited by ylisa7; 09-23-2011 at 06:12 AM..
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Old 09-23-2011, 06:22 AM
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
39,527 posts, read 47,687,050 times
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You should look into a revocable living trust, especially if you have a large estate. We did just that and a copy of it, along with the included will, is locked in 2 places, one with the lawyer who drew it up and another in a safe deposit box. An excecutor has been named to access the information upon our death.
This saves a lot of time, grief, problems, troubles. It expresses our desires, bye passes the courts, saves on inheritance tax and simply expedites everything at the due time.
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:24 AM
Location: Toronto, Ottawa Valley & Dunedin FL
1,409 posts, read 2,353,473 times
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If it's a simple will, with simple beneficiaries, I would tell them. My mother left everything to me and my brother, and she outlined the details years before. She did not split the estate, since she wanted me to have her home (former summer cottage), and she knew my brother did not want it.

So, she left me the home, and my brother the money. And since she discussed this all with me, I was aware that she was in the midst of changing her will when she died. Her cash assets had diminished, and she wished to redress this inequity in her will. Unfortunately she didn't live to sign that new will, but since I knew about it, I knew that the right thing to do was to compensate my brother for the difference, which I did.

If it's a complicated estate, I agree about considering establishing a trust; the issues of disclosure depends on the complexity I think. My husband's father did this, but his beneficiaries knew about it in advance.
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:40 AM
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,141,087 times
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I think it is wise to discuss things with your executor and to make sure it is clear who gets any special "small" items, such as collectibles and jewelry, etc. Best to have a codicile listing those things.

I have seen some interesting psychological games played out w/ folks over wills during my lifetime. I know of one person (living) who has threatened his adult children on quite a few occasions w/ exclusion from his will if they didn't toe the line (do what he wanted, when he wanted, how he wanted). Since the estate involved is sizeable, his kids mightily resent being (what they call) bullied.

I personally would never allow myself to be bullied by someone who holds an inheritance over my head like a carrot. My feeling is - I don't expect to inherit anything from anyone - as circumstances can quickly change. Someone's estate can be wiped out by all sorts of situations. However, I am not one of this person's adult children, so whatever their reasons for allowing themselves to be manipulated - who knows.

So I would say I am very sensitive to the reasons WHY a person would feel they need to discuss their estate settlement with anyone, other than the executor. After all, we may end up living many decades after that will is written . . . and resources may have been necessarily depleted by the time we actually die.

I would hate to think a family member is forcing themselves to be "kind" to me just b/c he/she wants to make sure I keep them in my will, hee hee hee.
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:27 AM
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,484 posts, read 62,084,629 times
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Originally Posted by imcurious View Post
now I am wondering if people tell their beneficiaries the details about how it is split up, etc.?
Inform them who the executor of the will is and (if you have wealth) that trusts will be established for tax reasons.

As regards the intricacies of a complicated financial portfolio?
If the (presumably adult) children aren't already privy or involved to greater detail... then why start now?.

As regards the OTHER family assets?
Absolutely tell the beneficiaries of your intentions and the more detail you can provide early on...
the better for all.

Grandmothers silver to X, the China to Y, the whatever else to Z; and so forth.
In this vein... it may well be prudent on a number of levels to give away these *things* in advance.

Do so in an orderly manner (bearing in mind the annual gift tax issues) and get to see these things distributed exactly as you intend and hopefully while sharing the joy of that giving and receiving.

Last edited by MrRational; 09-23-2011 at 09:18 AM..
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:54 AM
Location: Bar Harbor, ME
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NO.... Let it be a surprise. As far as I'm concerned inheritance is not a "right", its something you earn. BTW, my wife thinks its a "right".
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