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Old 06-06-2007, 11:49 AM
HDL
 
Location: Seek Jesus while He can still be found!
3,141 posts, read 6,022,359 times
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Now WILL you be taking SunnyH and I as a pair, or ME ONLY?!

Great story yellow snow . I am anxiously awaiting the sequel . My family has something similiar. I know if I had 6 children I would 'definitely' feel like excluding some of them from my will at one time or another . I'd bee keeping the lawyer buzzy with changes. Probably even leave all my honey to charity .

And OTR, great point about how laws vary from state to state. Also inheritance taxes vary too, so it's another thing to keep in mind for your heirs.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ontheroad View Post
Adoption?

Well, always worth considering!

I agree with you, yellow snow about fair. But wills and inheritance are always tricky and touchy issues (for another thread).
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Old 06-06-2007, 03:15 PM
 
1,080 posts, read 4,169,876 times
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Default Wills

This is a true story and happened to my family........a distant relative who was illegitimate, an only child who had a cousin, thought she did not need a will........had no children no husband (2 died)....she died at 86 with no will.
A company that finds missing heirs, found us........we were decendants from her father.........her estate was over 2.5 million.........her cousin got zero
and all decendants on father's side got the money.......of course, Jaison, Inc.
that found us got 30% of all.........she actually thought that the cousin would inherit.........by NYS law, father's side is entitled to money......in all
23 people now are a little happier. PS......the cousin hired that best lawyers in NYC and paid dearly for their services only to get nothing. He was in shock when he found out that she had this huge family and she never said a word.

I don't care if you only have $100.00 make sure you have a will and let people know of your wishes. It can save alot of grief for the family in the long run.
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Old 06-06-2007, 04:01 PM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,430,517 times
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If your potential estate and bequest wishes are simple, then standard forms for your state (available on-line or at a lot of office supply stores, or CD Kits), are probably quite adequate for you. You simply need to fill in the blanks, get it witnessed, and store in a place where it's known and accessible when the time comes by a trusted person to bring it forward to close out your estate.

However, if you have a larger estate (watch out here ... your home equity alone may put you into that category) and material assets, then you'd best get a lawyer and your accountant involved. If you have any complex bequest issues, then it's essential that you consult with estate planners who know about the laws in your state and how best to accomplish your desires.

In our case, our children will not be receiving any inheiritance from me or my wife. Instead, we have made provisions for my bank's trust department to liquidate our real property holdings in due course and disburse a very modest amount to any legitimate grandchildren for educational purposes. Absent grandchildren with educational needs, the balance of the estate will be used in trust to fund a few of our favorite charities and a number of scholarships for young people going into the trade in which I made my money (automotive tech).

We've set up the trust so that the scholarships can be funded (virtually) indefinitely through the earnings of our estate.

Our intent is clear. As it turns out, the details of making the scholarships available and selecting eligible recipients is very tricky. Fortunately, we've chosen a couple of schools with selection committees to do that for our bank's trust department, and will hope that they can make good selections in our name.

Oh, and don't worry about my children ... they've already achieved a greater deal of financial success than my small estate would have an impact on. Plus, they've married into far wealthier families than you could imagine and they already receive substantial trust monies, gifts, and travel, cars, houses, etc., from their in-laws. My stuff has virtually no meaning to them ... no sentimental value, etc. I live a rather frugal life on the ranch and there's nothing here that measures up in the rarified world of their finances.
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Old 06-06-2007, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Oregon Coast
1,848 posts, read 6,250,478 times
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Default Wills

Quote:
Originally Posted by happydawglady View Post
but SunnyH and I were talking earlier today and we are both open to ADOPTION if any of you want two slightly used, older children !! We're both very low maintenance and great companions (okay, I can only vouch for myself in these areas, but a free trial period can be negotiated for SunnyH )!

Our preference would be a weathy older couple, but we'd also be open to a divorcee or widow ! Please submit your applications ASAP as we expect to be snatched up quickly !
Oh it would be nice to have a two more grown children I don't want to disappoint you but I am not rich. My husband and I are just middle class people. Now my kids could be considered rich or maybe upper middle class.

Yes it can happen in some families that the kids end up richer than the parents. We sometimes feel like the poor relatives when we go visit them.

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. I'm not sure yet but I may go with the lawyer idea since it'll get a bit complicated.
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Old 06-06-2007, 06:13 PM
HDL
 
Location: Seek Jesus while He can still be found!
3,141 posts, read 6,022,359 times
Reputation: 8239
Smile Rich or wealthy is very subjective ;-0

You appear to be rich in character and personality ! Waterlily, just the fact that you said it would be nice to have 2 more grown children shows me you are definitely what I'm looking for ! Please keep SunnyH and I in mind should your children act up (LOL) .

And as a side note, I expect my siblings and I will have some 'issues' when my dear sweet dad passes. We have tried to help him to minimize any problems and it would be fine with some of us if he spends it all, but he's just not that way.

Thank you to those parents that try to be fair and don't leave the entire estate to one child. Better for the children to get nothing than to show favoritism in death. Though I guess at times there may be extenuating circumstances to do that .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterlily View Post
Oh it would be nice to have a two more grown children I don't want to disappoint you but I am not rich. My husband and I are just middle class people. Now my kids could be considered rich or maybe upper middle class.

Yes it can happen in some families that the kids end up richer than the parents. We sometimes feel like the poor relatives when we go visit them.

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. I'm not sure yet but I may go with the lawyer idea since it'll get a bit complicated.
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Old 06-06-2007, 07:05 PM
 
1,005 posts, read 1,475,425 times
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Hello Waterlily -

Good answers here, thank you. I hope some of this info will help someone. I'm converting my mom's will over to a revokable living trust, in order to avoid probabate. I'm fairly savvy legally & used to work for lawyers, but by no means know it all. To save money, I purchased a book from NOLO Press on Amazon (it was $10+ cheaper than on the NOLO site) called "Make Your Own Living Trust" by Atty. Denis Clifford. It comes complete with CD, so I can do all the forms on my computer & even tear-out sheets, should you choose to copy & fill them in by hand/typewriter. I plan on printing off all forms, then having a lawyer look them over, making suggestions or changes as necessary. I'm assuming it will be cheaper to just review forms, rather than create them & secondly, it will give me a step by step understanding of the process, once we visit the lawyer & I have to understand what I'm talking about in order to ask valid questions. Each minute is multiple dollars with a lawyer.

A will is several hundred dollars for a lawyer to complete, but they charge in the $1,500 range (here in Boston) for a living trust, as a trust is a 1-shot deal for him/her as there's no probate, so they want their $ upfront, whereas with a will, they're paid handsomely during the probate process.

In the future, if there are changes, I'd more than likely feel comfortable doing them myself, but at least this first time, we'll hand the lawyer a fistful of cash in order to ensure I haven't made mistakes or left anything out. That peace of mind is definitely worth the $.

OTR - Thank you for the state info, as that will be something to retain for future reference.

Thanks everyone. Have fun... VV
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Old 06-06-2007, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,189 posts, read 24,916,102 times
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KittensPurr,

I am shocked at the cost for an attorney in Boston--I had a MA will last, but paid about a couple of hundred dollars in Western Massachusetts.

I am impressed with your info; my solution was to write my own will this time, which I believe is legal (father was an attorney, and he gave me a handwritten will).

Interesting topic!
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Old 06-06-2007, 09:44 PM
 
1,005 posts, read 1,475,425 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ontheroad View Post
KittensPurr,

I am shocked at the cost for an attorney in Boston--I had a MA will last, but paid about a couple of hundred dollars in Western Massachusetts.

I am impressed with your info; my solution was to write my own will this time, which I believe is legal (father was an attorney, and he gave me a handwritten will).

Interesting topic!
Hello OTR -

Sorry for the confusion, a will here is a few hundred, a revokable living trust is in the $1,500 range. I'll be writing my mom's & then mine. Will have hers checked by an atty to ensure I did it all correctly. Mine will be free, as I don't have the assets she has, so my own software will suffice, I'm sure.

I don't know about legalities of handwritten wills, but there are organizations in major cities whom you can call to speak with a volunteer atty for a few minutes, just to guide you in the right direction. If you're still in MA, I have a list of them & would be happy to share the list. Haven't spoken to anyone yet. I want to do it in steps - read the book first so I have an idea of what trusts entail, write the trust, call for free atty info from 1 of the many free volunteer sites, then search out an atty. And, you're absolutely right, I remember now that the MA websites I'm aware of are separated by county.

Good to check out info about your handwritten will. Your dad may have written his will many years ago & laws differ now. I don't know, I'm just pulling at straws & have no idea, but as songbird mentioned above, I've also heard heartbreaking stories of people loosing homes as they had no money for probate, or distant relatives, some from foreign countries who never stepped foot in the US, contesting wills & winning for all sorts of quirky reasons. Best to have it professionally done the 1st time, I say. For me, at that point I'll then decide if I should take care of it on my own afterwards. I'm very capable with many things, but most importantly, smart enough to know when I should keep my hands off something & secure the services of a pro.

For instance, what do you do with the will afterwards to make it legal? Is it filed with the state or just held in a safe deposit box? My mom doesn't know where hers is & she thinks she threw it away. You now see why I have to help her with this & do as much research as possible.

Good luck everyone & keep sharing info. This would be a great post to keep bumping as info becomes available. I'm sure many will be helped by what we've all shared here! Thanks very much for that... VV
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Old 06-07-2007, 01:41 AM
 
Location: Chicago
38,690 posts, read 89,233,190 times
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If you actually want to make sure that your will is executed according to your wishes, get a lawyer. Even if you use software, have a lawyer review it. There are very specific terms that mean very specific things that lay-people don't really know about. In some jurisdictions, the courts will disregard the plain meaning of your written will if you do not use the precise legal terminology associated with your desired intent. Other courts will try to interpret the document according to your wishes -- a task made easier, ironically, by using the arcane legal mumbo-jumbo that makes sense to them and nobody else -- but if they don't understand what you are trying to do, or you specify something that has been deemed unenforceable by the common law (which again varies from state to state), or you have provisions that appear to be contradictory or mutually exclusive, they may just throw their hands in the air and divvy up your estate by operation of law as if you had no will at all. If you're comfortable and familiar with future interest concepts like fee simple, fee simple absolute, life estate, remainder interest, reversion, shifting executory interest, springing interest, right of entry, contingent remainders, possibility of reverter, rules against perpetuities, and such-forth, go ahead and do a will yourself. Otherwise, spend a couple hundred bucks to help insure your heirs against lengthy and costly legal headaches. Lawyer's aren't just there to represent you in court; they're primarily there to keep you (or in this case your heirs) out of the courtroom in the first place.

Last edited by Drover; 06-07-2007 at 01:51 AM..
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Old 06-07-2007, 05:32 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,890 posts, read 25,335,938 times
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Default Story number 2

I know there's a book in this one. The story is true but names have been changed to protect the guilty.

This one starts during WWII when a young poor woman named Stella takes a job as a waitress right outside of Lackland AF Base in San Antonio TX. She may be a waitress, but her real job is to snag a pilot and get married. Bun in oven, Stella gets her pilot. Back then, if you got pregnant, you usually got married. Stella has a son, Little Richard. Her husband, Big Richard ships off overseas and a couple months later, he goes missing over the North Sea and is declared Killed in Action. Stella becomes a widow with a pension and a small son.

Next comes the fairy tale part. Stella didn't know it, but her husband was from a very wealthy family. After Big Richards death, and learning about Little Richard, the family decides to match Stella's monthly benefits and give the child a then princely sum of 150K. Little Richard's money is to remain invested until he reaches college age. He will get a percentage at 18, 21, and the balance at 30. An exception will be made if Little Richard needs the money for school. Back then, you could buy a brand new brick home for 10K. 150K was a lot of money. Stella escaped from poverty.

When Little Richard was about 3, Stella met Cecil. A tall cowboy who would become her next husband. His family didn't have money but they had land and oil. Cecil was waiting to inherit. Bun in oven, Stella marries for the second time. It was a difficult pregnancy and Stella lost the baby. It took her 4 long years to get pregnant again but finally Liam was born. Little Richard was the child of her heart and she loved him dearly. Liam was the child she had to produce to fulfill her responsibilities to Cecil. Liam was just a problem and would never be worth anything. But she would do anything for her sweet, brilliant Richard. Time passed and Cecil inherited the ranch and the oil rights. Cecil never worked again. He wasn't the brightest man, but he was a basically good person. Men in his family never worked after they inherited. They became gentlemen ranchers. They borrowed from the bank and whenever it was necessary, sold off some land to pay their debts.

The children grew up and Stella was not good at concealing her love for Richard or her dislike for Liam. Richard had most everything money could buy and Liam had nothing. After all, the money Stella got was for Richard. Cecil didn't know how to fix the problem, but Liam grew up hearing that Richard had his money now but someday the ranch and the oil would belong to Liam. Richard grew up into a cruel manipulative young man. He used his money to encourage Liam to do his bidding. Liam knew Richard was the smart good child who always deserved more. Richard hit the magic 18, had a series of cars and homes. He discovered College, where he would spend the next 22 years earning a teaching certificate. The only reason he ever left school was becoming too old to chase afer the 18 year old girls. Liam was told he was too dumb to get a degree in anything but sociology. He more or less followed along after Richard. It didn't matter how much Richard had, Stella always thought he needed more. It never occurred to her that Liam had nothing.

Liam met Sandy and that's when everything changed. Liam fell in love with a woman who respected and cared for him. She convinced him he was worthwhile and not nearly as dumb as he thought he was. Richard felt threatened at the prospect of losing his minion and whispered promises to Liam about new cars and a trip to Hawaii. Richard and Stella despised Sandy. Liam stood up to them and married Sandy. Sandy refused to buy into Liam's stories about how the ranch would be theirs some day. She said she would believe it when it happened and in the meantime, get to work. Liam got a degree in Mechanical Engineering and they both worked hard. Even Cecil tried to convince Sandy that the big payoff would come. Sandy told Cecil she would believe it when it happened. Richard had difficulties with the law for carrying silencers and illegal weapons. Stella took care of it and paid for his convictions to be expunged.

Years passed and Cecil told Liam he was writing his will. Liam begged his father to establish a trust that allowed Stella to live well but would preserve the estate. After all, Liam knew the ranch was his. Cecil said Stella understood his wishes and would never go against him. One day, Cecil laid down for a nap and never woke up.

Stella couldn't live on that ranch all alone so she sold everything. Poor Richard had so many needs. Stella made sure he was taken care of. But Liam worked so he didn't need anything. Stella asked both her son's for advice on what to do with the money. Richard told her about a great new bank he had found that would send her a check whenever she needed money. Liam told her about a way to invest the money so she could have 7K per month to live on without ever touching the principal and suggested she see some real financial planners. Liam knew Richard was getting money from Stella. He knew his mother and brother would never treat him fairly but there was nothing he could do about it.

Then karma stepped in. Stella, of course, took Richard's advice on what to do with the money. After all Richard was the smart one. About 6 months down the road, Liam got a call from Stella, asking for money. It turned out the 'bank' Richard suggested wasn't a bank at all but a holding company that had declared bankruptcy. The money was gone. Just gone. Liam sent his mother the money she needed but she never thanked him. Instead she told him to feel sorry for poor Richard because he had lost money in the bankruptcy too.

Stella is dead now. Richard is still alive and at last report was taking financial advantage of disabled adults. Sandy and Liam are financially OK and still married. Sandy has her regrets because this whole thing has turned Liam into a very pessimistic, angry, individual. She will probably write the book. After she recovers from leaving Liam who is still the love of her life. There are some people who continue to spread their poison long after they are gone. The only thing Liam inherited from his mother was a garnet ring left at her home. It was the only thing Richard overlooked.
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