Author Topic: Creating a will - estate planning  (Read 1902 times)

Jurgis

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Re: Creating a will - estate planning
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2020, 07:11:47 AM »
I'd also like to suggest that trying everything including extreme measures to make sure there is a surviving spouse makes sense. Plus in many cases if you can protect one spouse, then that healthy spouse could serve as a healthy caretaker or advocate in the event of serious illness in the more at risk partner.

Can you elaborate?
Do you mean not travel in the same car, plane? Sleep in separate houses during pandemic?

Just curious.  8)
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gfp

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Re: Creating a will - estate planning
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2020, 07:16:06 AM »
Sadly, I've had two friends die in the last year that both had real shit-shows with their estate settlement.

One appointed his long time accountant as executor, who promptly cut off his long time girlfriend's health insurance and basically kicked her out of their house immediately.  The cold letters put everyone off and destroyed any hope for cooperation.  Additionally, one of the 4 sons - each of whom was made an equal voting member / heir - had been diagnosed as schizophrenic and was spiraling out of control.  But nothing had been updated in the will to account for this, so the schizophrenic is just as involved as the other brothers in making decisions.  Lastly, the deceased had been misrepresenting his wealth to family and girlfriend - basically spending 100% of a very high income with near zero assets / savings - which led to the heirs making life decisions thinking they had a wealthy father when it turned out they stood to inherit relatively little.

The second person died in a car crash simultaneously with his second wife.  There were numerous conflicts between the prenuptial agreement, the husband's will, and the wife's will.  There was a separate executor for husband and wife.  Wife's executor tried to claim husband pre-deceased wife by seconds (impossible to prove but one was declared dead minutes before the other) - thus triggering clauses where wife instantly inherited everything before being declared dead herself (this will not hold up in court but poisons the well of cooperation). 
One lesson learned the hard way on this one is: Don't let your regular corporate lawyer who does typical business work for you draw up pre-nups and wills if that is not what they normally do.  It was amateur hour and will probably involve courts for some time.  Lots of potential to destroy relationships between surviving step-siblings, etc...

Likely none of these issues apply to you, but just wanted to pass along some stories of all the ways the best laid plans can go awry. 

oddballstocks

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Re: Creating a will - estate planning
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2020, 07:38:22 AM »
Another story, have a friend who is a lawyer whose father passed unexpectedly.  There was no will, a partial divorce, girlfriend, kids etc.

I want to say the estate is still open five or six years later and my buddy said this is just a constant drag on his time.  He's been in and out of court trying to clean things up, but there are so many catch-22 situations that take months to resolve, it's just a big mess.  It's not even a sizable estate, his father owned a single commercial building and had little in the way of assets.

Since it was his own father and he has the expertise to do this there are no billable hours, just mental anguish and time taken from other things he could be doing.
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SharperDingaan

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Re: Creating a will - estate planning
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2020, 07:54:54 AM »
Another story, have a friend who is a lawyer whose father passed unexpectedly.  There was no will, a partial divorce, girlfriend, kids etc.

I want to say the estate is still open five or six years later and my buddy said this is just a constant drag on his time.  He's been in and out of court trying to clean things up, but there are so many catch-22 situations that take months to resolve, it's just a big mess.  It's not even a sizable estate, his father owned a single commercial building and had little in the way of assets.

Since it was his own father and he has the expertise to do this there are no billable hours, just mental anguish and time taken from other things he could be doing.

This is why you pay up for a professional accountant, and attorney to set up your will, and a bank to execute it. You will only be paying executor fees on anything in probate (accountants job to minimize), and the money will go where intended (attorneys job to ensure). There is a reason why a dentist doesn't do his or his neighbors teeth, and it is the same reason that beneficiaries should have no involvement in the distribution process (bank as the executor job).

Yes it's expensive, so it putting you in a box.
You get what you pay for, and this is a dumb time to be cheap.

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« Last Edit: April 16, 2020, 09:05:05 AM by SharperDingaan »