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Old 02-15-2017, 05:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kavm View Post
Thank you so so much for all these helpful comments. They give me renewed motivation to get this project started, and the right idea about the backup executor (lawyer).

We still need to find the attorney - for the will and for the executor role. Don't know many attorneys; one that we know is in such poor health that we might outlive him... Not totally clear how to go about that, what kind of attorney we should be looking for, etc. Like to do things myself, so am half tempted to do a do-it-yourself will. Our assets - aside from the condo, etc. - are all in straightforward financial instruments (banks, retirement accounts, brokerage, mutual funds, etc.) - with one exception of a partnership share. So, it is not a very complicated situation

In response to a question that came up: if neither of us is alive, we expect to leave a majority of assets to our families - who are all abroad.

Quite interested in the answer to the question BucFan raised above on the type of lawyer/service to look for. Kind of sheepish about getting a lawyer out of yellow pages (or modern day equivalent) to fill this type of role...
A good way to pick an attorney is to ask your accountant, your insurance agent, or your real estate agent whom good attorneys in your area are. Don't use the yellow pages. Don't go by internet ads either.
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:24 PM
 
Location: SLC
467 posts, read 428,180 times
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Thank you so so much for all your practical advice about how to chose the attorney as well as how to prepare for the meeting prior to that. I truly appreciate it. It has jogged my thoughts in a couple of productive directions:

- I have a well-informed CPA who does our taxes and is knowledgeable, thoughtful and conscientious, the only negative is that he is on the East coast far away and is not likely to know the attorney in my state of Utah

- We live in a condo building and can seek recommendations with some of the owners who might be in a similar asset situation

Thanks again! It has been immensely helpful!
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:38 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,324 posts, read 4,172,231 times
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I, too, have found this thread extremely useful! Thanks for starting it, OP.
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Old 02-17-2017, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Henderson, NV
3,457 posts, read 2,257,597 times
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If your bank has a Trust department, ask them if they have a local recommendation for an attorney. Make sure you go to an attorney who is knowledgeable about estates, probate, trusts. If you support any local charities, they often have planned giving attorneys who are trust and estate specialists. Just go onto the charity's website and look for their Planned Giving Committee or some similar name. Your local PBS or NPR station or university would have such a committee. Having worked in the non-profit world, I can tell you we were pretty careful about choosing attorneys who had the very best professional credentials.
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Old 02-19-2017, 07:42 AM
 
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"A fiduciary is a person who assumes responsibility for a position of trust. Fiduciaries serve by court appointment as guardians, conservators and personal representatives of estates. They also serve by agreement as trustees, representative payees or as agents under powers of attorney."

You can do as I did and hire a fiduciary. Conduct an online search for fiduciaries in your area. I had a trust and a will prepared by a legal service, and placed three successive fiduciaries (in case the primary fiduciary is unable to carry out their duties, I selected two backup fiduciaries) as the trustees to make financial and medical decisions on my behalf in the event that I became incapacitated or passed away. They are licensed and bonded; and their fees, which you don't have to pay until you actually need their services, will depend upon the area in which you live. I have also purchased insurance to cover the cost of cremating my remains and sprinkling my ashes out to sea. Additionally, I put my house and bank accounts in trust and selected various charities to leave the money to once I am gone. My primary fiduciary has a copy of my trust, as well as the names and addresses of friends, remaining family, banking institutions, where I hid my spare set of house and car keys, alarm code, whom to give my little dog to, etc. I carry a card in my wallet that lists my fiduciary and cremation insurance contact info. I also travel quite a bit and always send my travel itinerary to my fiduciary prior to leaving for my trip.

Hope this info was helpful!!

Last edited by Punkinpie; 02-19-2017 at 08:11 AM..
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Old 02-19-2017, 07:48 AM
 
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^^^
VERY helpful.I'll be doing this next year.
Is a Fiduciary a licensed position, or is a specialized lawyer? I am not familiar but sounds like the answer to my own retirement situation. (Currently have a lawyer as executor, with instructions, but no trust set up).
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Old 02-19-2017, 03:06 PM
 
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A fiduciary is licensed and bonded. They can be lawyers, but generally they are not. Since I do not have a spouse, siblings, any children, or extended family members that I trust, I was advised by a lawyer to seek the services of a fiduciary to handle my affairs in the event that I become incapacitated or die.

Last edited by Punkinpie; 02-19-2017 at 04:00 PM..
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Old 02-19-2017, 03:22 PM
 
Location: SLC
467 posts, read 428,180 times
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Thank you very much! I will look into the fiduciaries in my area. This is a very good idea!
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Old 02-20-2017, 06:48 AM
 
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You are most welcome!
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Old 02-20-2017, 07:30 AM
 
15 posts, read 18,537 times
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I would also advise anyone looking into hiring a fiduciary to get your files organized and in order (if you have not done so already), start downsizing, clean out the garage, and get rid of "stuff" that is taking up space and that you don't really need. Have a garage sale, donate to charity, and give sentimental items to family members beforehand so that they don't have to fight over it when you are gone. Although a fudiciary is cheaper than a lawyer, they do charge by the hour. If your home and files are disorganized hot messes, they will need to go in and sort everything out, which can add up pretty darn quick. Personally, I would prefer that my money be used to pay the fudiciary to make sure that I receive whatever care I will need (based upon what I can afford) when I can no longer take care of myself.
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