Author Topic: Estate planning  (Read 2577 times)

mooshie

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Estate planning
« on: September 27, 2016, 09:15:16 PM »
So, I have been thinking about estate planning lately, and am realizing how little I know and how unprepared I am. The first time I read anything about estate planning we really had almost nothing, so I figured I'd worry about it at a later date when there was slightly more than nothing. Well I suppose that time has come. DH and I need to do something, but I'm not sure what. I know the simplest thing to do is to have a will, so we're just going to start with that. But what kind of will is the most mustachian? There are simple wills you can write up yourself, and then you can get more complicated from there.

My husband and I have 5 kids, and in the event of his death our current plan is for everything to pass to me, and visa versa in the event of my death.

I know things can change as the children get older, or whatever. And in the event of us both dying at the same time it gets much more complicated as far as what we might want to do for the kids. So maybe it'd be best to have a lawyer draw something up that can cover this sort of situation? But the sound of the word lawyer makes me want to run and hide. I'm so afraid of it being expensive and me feeling ripped off.

So, what would a responsible mustachian do? And how does one go about finding a trustworthy estate planning attorney (it just sounds like an oxymoron)?

What do you all do?

Signed,
Feeling guilty

MDM

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Re: Estate planning
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2016, 09:42:42 PM »
And in the event of us both dying at the same time it gets much more complicated as far as what we might want to do for the kids.
That's perhaps the most difficult yet most important decision.  Not so much monetary things, but who to name as guardians for any minor children.  Have you decided that yet?

mooshie

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Re: Estate planning
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2016, 09:49:00 PM »
Yes, we've decided, but we haven't put it writing. :(
Like I said, I'm feeling guilty.
We've gotta at least get a will!

Sandia

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Re: Estate planning
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2016, 09:55:54 PM »
Hi Mooshie,

It sounds like you're getting stymied by emotions (guilt, worry, anxiety, etc); I can tell because I do this to myself all the damn time. It's extra normal to feel these emotions on the extra difficult topic of estate planning.

Step 1: try to remove the emotion from the process. No need to feel guilty because, hey, you haven't needed a will yet! Do you feel guilty about putting off cleaning the bathroom for a day? No, because you did it the next day and then didn't think about it again. Try to think of estate planning as boring and routine as cleaning the bathroom.

Step 2: use this website: http://www.gyst.com/

mooshie

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Re: Estate planning
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2016, 10:46:58 PM »
Thanks! :)
I'm one that tends to just put off cleaning the bathroom for a week and just feel guilty for a week. LOL!
But, you're right. We should just do it and then it'll be done and I won't feel guilty. I just feel like I don't know enough and that I'll do a bad job. But a bad job is probably better than not doing it at all. And until I need my will (well, my family needs it) I can always change it and make it better right?

Dee18

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Re: Estate planning
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2016, 06:02:37 AM »
You will probably want to set up a trust as well for your assets in the unlikely event that you both die.  You choose trustee(s) to handle the money according to your wishes.  So, for example, you could have each child get money for education and other living expenses and then receive an inheritance at a certain age. (In my state, if I only had a will, my daughter would have received everything at age 18; I had no idea how responsible she would be at 18.)  I hired an attorney when my daughter was one.  She took the time to talk through all sorts of options with me, then drafted a will and trust for me.  She was so good that I have not needed to change the documents even though my daughter is now in college.  Guardianship law differs quite a bit among states so you could also get advice about that (in some states the wishes of the parents are almost always honored; in others the court plays a larger role in determining the best interests of the children). 

Ask people for recommendations for attorneys.  Ask lots of people. And ask them why they are recommending the person. I chose someone who specialized in trust and estate planning.  She was very efficient.  An attorney should be able to easily tell you either a flat fee or an hourly free with a good estimate of the time involved so you know it going in.  My mother found a great attorney when she went to a seminar at her church about estate planning.  She really liked one of the lawyers and we hired that woman's associate to redo my mom's trust.  if you are in a city with a law school, you could email the trust and estates professor and ask for recommendations.

mooshie

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Re: Estate planning
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2016, 01:24:53 PM »
if you are in a city with a law school, you could email the trust and estates professor and ask for recommendations.

That's a good idea. I happen to be only about 40 minutes from 2 law schools! :)

Trekker

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Re: Estate planning
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2016, 06:12:19 PM »
Start with the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (http://www.actec.org/) and ask the ACTEC Fellows in your area for referrals.

The lawyers in ACTEC are exceptional and might be outside of you price range. They should be able to refer you to highly qualified but lower cost lawyers (e.g., an associate or up and coming lawyer).