Author Topic: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.  (Read 22647 times)

Poundwise

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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. 

Goldielocks

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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.

CAR
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.

Rosy

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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.

Rosy

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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!

FireLane

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This is such a good idea for a thread. DS is a year old and Mrs. FL and I have no excuse for not having our wills made out yet. Neither of us is planning to die any time soon, but if anything did happen to us, we need to make sure he'll be taken care of.

We really need to make an appointment with a lawyer and sort this out. Hopefully, this thread title popping up in my unread-posts list whenever I log on will be the prodding I need to get it done in 2018.

Well, I meant to get this done in 2018 and that didn't happen... but I'm happy to say it's done now!

We've been exchanging e-mails with a lawyer friend for months. We told him our wishes, he pointed out some things we hadn't considered, and this week we finally met with him and got the papers signed. I'm still not planning to die any time soon, but it's a weight off my shoulders knowing that it's done at last.

mspym

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@FireLane High five! That's great!

ForeverPoor

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Have always had voluntary life insurance maxed due to my employer but haven't touched any of the others listed in topic... maybe it's time I visit them.

FIRE_at_45

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I wrote my damn will and got it freaking done!  Woohoo! 

Hula Hoop

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Good for you, FIRE at 45!

I have a basic question.  My father in New York State already has a will but now he wants to do a POA and a living will with me the person with the POA etc.  However, I live in Italy.  Can he execute the document without my presence?  Or does he have to wait until I visit him next time probably this summer?

CrustyBadger

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@Hula Hoop I am guessing that he could send you a copy of the PDA and the Living Will, and you could sign them in the presence of a Notary Public. You can find one at the US Embassy.

https://it.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/notarial-services/

Hula Hoop

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Thanks, CB.  I'll look into that.

Goldielocks

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I just reduced DH and my life insurance to $100k on each of us.   Deep breath.

Baby steps.   We jumped into the next higher cost band this year, so I am just dropping it to keep costs constant.  Technically, we should be able to self-fund, because we are pretty much FIRED on a fraction of our prior incomes, youngest kid will be 17 soon and we have their education funds sorted out. 

For some reason, I like the insurance safety net... hard habit to shake once you have it.

I will have to update the wills once the youngest is no longer a minor.

FIRE_at_45

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I just reduced DH and my life insurance to $100k on each of us.   Deep breath.

Baby steps.   We jumped into the next higher cost band this year, so I am just dropping it to keep costs constant.  Technically, we should be able to self-fund, because we are pretty much FIRED on a fraction of our prior incomes, youngest kid will be 17 soon and we have their education funds sorted out. 

For some reason, I like the insurance safety net... hard habit to shake once you have it.

I will have to update the wills once the youngest is no longer a minor.

Interesting.  I've self insured for years now. 

Goldielocks

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I just reduced DH and my life insurance to $100k on each of us.   Deep breath.

Baby steps.   We jumped into the next higher cost band this year, so I am just dropping it to keep costs constant.  Technically, we should be able to self-fund, because we are pretty much FIRED on a fraction of our prior incomes, youngest kid will be 17 soon and we have their education funds sorted out. 

For some reason, I like the insurance safety net... hard habit to shake once you have it.

I will have to update the wills once the youngest is no longer a minor.

Interesting.  I've self insured for years now.
Glad to hear others have the same approach to getting self-insured eventually.   We were up at $450k each 3 years ago, and I have so much trouble going cold turkey with a huge mortgage, still.  (Mortgage value is much larger than the insurance).   It is one of the hidden costs of "Don't pay off your mortgage club"...   At some level, when you have large expenses (mortgage), you still want insurance, even if you could self-insure.   If we paid down the mortgage and have smaller investments, I think I would get rid of the life insurance, which is not logical, but there you go.

Not sure how I feel about other types of insurance,  I am at a $1million coverage for liabiity (professional / 3rd party car insurance).  When you have FIRE assets, you want some protection, you know?  Anyway, that is a different thread from life insurance / wills.

FIRE_at_45

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Glad to hear others have the same approach to getting self-insured eventually.   We were up at $450k each 3 years ago, and I have so much trouble going cold turkey with a huge mortgage, still.  (Mortgage value is much larger than the insurance).   It is one of the hidden costs of "Don't pay off your mortgage club"...   At some level, when you have large expenses (mortgage), you still want insurance, even if you could self-insure.   If we paid down the mortgage and have smaller investments, I think I would get rid of the life insurance, which is not logical, but there you go.

Not sure how I feel about other types of insurance,  I am at a $1million coverage for liabiity (professional / 3rd party car insurance).  When you have FIRE assets, you want some protection, you know?  Anyway, that is a different thread from life insurance / wills.

That makes sense if your life insurance is allowing you to safely leverage yourself.  We live in a very HCOL area and not owning eliminates that risk for me. 

mspym

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I just changed over my super provider and dropped my life insurance at the same time to just what is included by the fund. We have no mortgage, and we have both super and investments we could draw on so it was scary but also just done now.

I think my last item on my list is writing my will.

letsdoit

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we have wills POA and extra life insurance.  $1 mill umbrella insurance for $200/yr

mine extra life insurance is not cheap bc i'm a man (i know i'm getting ripped off bc i'm so healthy)
but i still have it for my kids. 

i tried to renegotiate car insurance but have not succeeded yet


Poundwise

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I called a lawyer last week and left a message saying we'd like to update our will.

Her office called back left a message on my machine.

My move!

SuperSecretName

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after a year of procrastinating, I'm finally get this done :)

I'm using the lawyer that did my divorce.  $1k all in.  Maybe a little high, but there are some unique custody issues to consider.  I didn't think it worth it to shop around to save a few hundred, maybe.

2sk22

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This is a good challenge for me - my goal is to get our wills and directives squared away in the next couple of months.

jim555

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How do you get a good Executor / Executrix?  No one I know I would trust to handle this.

meerkat

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How do you get a good Executor / Executrix?  No one I know I would trust to handle this.

A lawyer, accountant, or bank can serve as your executor. The lawyer/law office that drafted your will cannot serve as the executor, however, due to possible conflict of interest.

iris lily

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How do you get a good Executor / Executrix?  No one I know I would trust to handle this.

We donít have children so I am less concerned about having a good executor then probably parents with children. But we chose our friend who is frugal along with our siblings,. They operate as a team and may make decisions independently of one another. I think thatís OK
, theyíre all reasonable people.I think they will have similar mindsets and disposing of property.

SwordGuy

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We have an appointment next week with a lawyer to get our wills and other pertinent documents drawn up.

Hopefully the formal paperwork will be  done within a week or so of that.

I've already written up a "things you need to know" document but I'm going to cross-check it with the excellent list of items I just read in this thread.   

I've got a 2 hour meeting with my son and his wife scheduled for our next get together.  My wife will take the grandkids to the movie so we can have undisturbed conversation time.   I want to make sure they both know basic money and investment concepts and have time to ask questions, etc.  As Jim Rohn quipped, if you end up with a million dollars, it's best to learn how to manage it or you won't be a millionaire for long.

2sk22

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Took the first step - got the names of a couple of lawyers in the area. I know this seems like a really small step but it is already more than I've done so far :-)

happy

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Have got my solicitor to draw up will, POA and EG.   No life insurance...cancelled it all years ago when i realised if I die my kids will be well off, since I won't have to pay for my reitirement. Need to make followup appointments to get this all signed off.

A Fella from Stella

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Yes! One of my goals this year is a real will.

I have my estate clearly laid out with 6 pages of detailed instructions on how to manage/distribute the money. Just updated and sent to the executor and guardian, but do not have a real will.

Life insurance is covered. $1,000,000 for my on a term, $210k from work, and my wife has $500k from work.

2sk22

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Actually set up an appointment with a lawyer for tomorrow to start work on wills. I've been putting this off for years so I'm glad to have overcome inertia!

2sk22

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Had appointment with lawyer and got the process of creating our wills moving.

happy

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All done. Completed  Will, Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship this last week. Feels good to have it done. Cost 2k, which includes the upmarket version of the will including testamentary trusts etc.

No life insurance, I don't need it.

meerkat

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Had appointment with lawyer and got the process of creating our wills moving.

Nice job!

All done. Completed  Will, Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship this last week. Feels good to have it done. Cost 2k, which includes the upmarket version of the will including testamentary trusts etc.

No life insurance, I don't need it.

Good for you!

ToTheMoon

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I am so glad this thread popped up again - I needed the reminder to review our will and potentially make changes.  In the 5+ years since we did it up there have been lots of changes (children & health challenges) for the persons we had assigned as guardians for our children.  Also we have had a few friends whose parents have passed recently and the nightmares of 20+ and 30+ year old wills that have never been updated have been shocking.  Way too many extra hoops to jump through for those who are supposed to be grieving. 

How often do you think it is prudent to review? Every 5 years or if a big life change happens?

RetiredAt63

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How often do you think it is prudent to review? Every 5 years or if a big life change happens?

I'd say a quick mental review every year to think about changes - if they are major then do the will changes.

My will was done in 2012?  2013?  It didn't need changing until now.  My sister was executor and there would have been a house to sell - she is retired and has the time and experience to do that.  Now that the house is sold and all my major assets are more liquid I will be redoing my will and my DD will be my executor.  I just couldn't ask her to do it when there was a house in the picture - she doesn't live near here and she has a full time job, it would have been very difficult for her.