Author Topic: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.  (Read 16973 times)


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #150 on: December 13, 2018, 05:42:19 PM »
We've done nothing about our will so far, but we did take an important step by signing up for this legal plan that is part of a benefit of my husband's job. For a flat annual fee, we'll be able to take advantage of legal services to take care of all this stuff.  We'll also be able to hire somebody grieve our property taxes, extra important now that we lose so much of our deduction.

Check to see if they have something like a will making kit. Ours had a little workbook, we got two (one for each person that needed a will) and filled them out, sent them off, then had documents back a few weeks later ready for our signature and a notary.

Just don't be like me in that I had the service for MONTHS before we got around to actually doing that part, paying the monthly fee for nothing in the meantime.

Just saw this today... thanks, @meerkat! Our old will was done using Suze Orman software but we have more assets and more kids since then. And no worries, we are going to use that legal service very well... have to grieve property taxes, pursue a nonpaying client, etc. 


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #151 on: December 13, 2018, 06:03:56 PM »
1. So, I am done thinking about who I will leave what to and I am giving up on trying to control what happens after my death. (sheesh)
I had a bit of a health scare and all I could think about is that I haven't ordered my affairs. So now I am super motivated.

2. Beneficiaries and POD (point of death) papers on all my accounts were done in 2018, but I need to make one change in Jan and also add a POD to an old account that I don't intend to ever close. Seemed hardly worth to do for this one account but then I realized it is better to make no exceptions, especially since the balance does vary.

3. Found an attorney that appears to have reasonable rates and will call for an appointment today.
4. Working on updating my/our BOB.
5. Will finish writing letters this Dec 2018 - one with all instructions and three to go to the people in my will.
Wondering what happens with the car? Presently there is a car loan - so the bank holds the title for a few more months. Is there a way for the car to go to my son automatically? Can this only be done via the will or would it be better to just "sell" it to him?
What does the bank do with a car when it is not fully paid off at the time of death?

6. Calling the consulate in January to find out what if any complications I can expect and need to account for. I read somewhere that if domicile is firmly established in the US - then US inheritance laws prevail. Germany is quite different, but then again, I might have dual citizenship by then and I am wondering how that will impact even a very small inheritance.

I find this all rather daunting, but maybe reading all the links in this thread and speaking with the lawyer will help and clarify some of the steps.
I am a financial planner, not a lawyer, and this is free internet person advice, and worth about the same....

1-3   Awesome.
4) I don't know what a BOB is (beneficiary?)   sounds like it is good, though.
5)  Ensure that your will and letters don't contradict your beneficiary designations.  Your lawyer should cover this for you, ideally you would hand over the letters at the time they are preparing your will, for a quick check.
Also, note that the will, if dated newer, could over ride investment declared beneficiaries... or vice versa, in future.
6)   Any property of a deceased person is subject to US Estate tax laws if:

A) the value of the US domiciled property (real estate, car, investments in US banks, bank accounts) is over $60k USD AND
b) your total estate worldwide is over the Estate tax exemption limit...   which just rose to 11.2 Million, but will fall back down to 5 million in a few years.

Estate tax in the USA is 40%... so you DON'T want to hold assets over $60k in the USA if you are at all close to $5 million in worldwide assets.... especially as each elected government can change the limit quickly and suddenly on you.

c)  there are also probate costs to account for and distribute the US assets, if needed, which can be relatively costly as well.

Generally, the bank will call any loans, including a car loan, when the deceased dies, and the estate needs to pay all creditors before paying out the estate.     If there is not enough cash to cover the loans, the assets are sold, as determined by the executor / executrix.   Depending on the loan, it may be attached only and solely to the car title, so the car could be repossesed per the loan documents if the debt is not repaid upon demand, in the specified timeframe. Note that if the estate is tied up in probate, they may not be able to release the funds in time, so the car would be repossessed, if that is what the loan docs state.  You need to check your car loan documents to determine what happens in default or death.  They will state it clearly.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #152 on: December 14, 2018, 05:22:01 PM »
Thank you so much Goldie:). That helps me moving forward, I'll investigate further.
I'll dig into the loan papers for the car.

BOB is something different - preparedness in case of a disaster - refers to a Bug Out Bag in case of an emergency if you need to leave immediately in case of a hurricane or fire for instance. We live in hurricane country and I know someone personally whose house dropped into a huge sinkhole.
One bag, plastic box or small suitcase for each person to grab in a hurry.

It contains food and water for at least 72 hours, emergency radio, flashlights, first aid kit, medicines, prescriptions, a couple of changes of clothing, sturdy shoes and jacket, extra underwear, valuables-expensive jewelry and of course a list of your contacts, banks, credit card info - passwords, investments, important papers like Social Security Card, birth cert., passports, pictures-videos of your house - each room, open the closet and open the china cabinet even the fridge and kitchen cabinets.
Basically an inventory for the insurance company etc or possibly FEMA.

In any case, cash incl. lots of small denominations (ATMs may not work and banks will be closed) and coins for snacks and coffee from the machine and extra gasoline...
On the first page of this thread there are a ton of links.
We have one for our cat too - carrier, blanket, food dish, food and extra water and disposable cat litter containers - as well as pictures of him in case we lose him, his shot records and a harness so he doesn't go stir crazy since he is an indoor-outdoor cat.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #153 on: January 08, 2019, 01:39:20 PM »
Yay - I saw my lawyer today and hope to have everything sorted soon.

Besides, I wanted to bump this thread for the New Year - let's all get our shit together in 2019!