Author Topic: Estate Planning-where to start?  (Read 1748 times)

keepitsimple

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Estate Planning-where to start?
« on: May 14, 2014, 01:36:40 PM »
I'm looking for any mustachian reading recommendations about estate planning.  My FIL recently passed and had set up a revocable trust for the family (MIL, SIL and DH).  We are not really sure of all the provisions and aren't concerned about it at this point, but it got me thinking about my own family (we have 2 young children).  Right now we don't even have wills (shame-face).  Where should I start?

keepitsimple

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Re: Estate Planning-where to start?
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2014, 01:41:39 PM »
I should add we are in NY and total assets inc. life insurance proceeds (yes we still have that) would be a little over 1M.

Fishingmn

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Re: Estate Planning-where to start?
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2014, 01:46:44 PM »
You should find a lawyer - ask friends/family for recommendations. Ask to meet with 2-3 for an initial free consultation and pick who you feel most comfortable with.

You should do a health care directive/living will while you are doing the estate planning as well. You'll want to think through how you want to leave money to kids (trust options), who is going to be guardian and who is going to be personal representative/trustee.

ZiziPB

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Re: Estate Planning-where to start?
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2014, 01:47:48 PM »
At this point it doesn't look like you need to worry about any tax planning so I would suggest starting with a simple will designating a guardian for your minor children plus a durable power of attorney and a living will.  Find a lawyer who can draft if all for you for a few hundred dollars and you are all set for a while.

Dee18

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Re: Estate Planning-where to start?
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2014, 03:01:31 PM »
I set up a revocable trust with specific instructions about dispersing the money over time so my daughter could not inherit everything at age 18.  You may want to dedignate a different guardian or trustee for your money than you do for the children.  Also realize that a judge decides who becomes the guardian in many states, though the court will seriously consider the parents' wishes.

A good attorney will guide you through these issues efficiently and plan ahead.  I did all this when my daughter was one.  I review it annually.  So far it is still good, and she's now 17.  Over the years, as assets grew, I added beneficiaries easily to various accounts that will not go into the trust.