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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: bognish on February 23, 2019, 10:38:35 PM

Title: Executing wills, trust, estate plan stuff
Post by: bognish on February 23, 2019, 10:38:35 PM
So there are a few topics rolling on setting up wills, trusts, estate plans. I have 2 minor kids so I am convinced that DIY isnít for me, and I need to see a lawyer and get this done. Hereís my question: I see a lawyer and she sets things up perfect with wills, trusts, guardianships whatever else we need. How complex is it for someone else to deal with that if the time comes? Is being the executor for this DIY or do they need to go back to a lawyer to have it figured out?
Title: Re: Executing wills, trust, estate plan stuff
Post by: secondcor521 on February 23, 2019, 11:20:12 PM
It depends on how complicated the estate is and in which state the estate occurs.

Several states have simplified legal procedures and processes for small or simple estates.  If the executor is reasonably smart and persistent and asks for help from the court, they could do that themselves.  Especially if they've dealt with an estate or been exposed to the estate process before.  They could certainly read your will and if it's decently written they would have a very good idea of what your wishes are.

If the estate is large or complex, then I think hiring a lawyer to help walk the executor through the process seems reasonable to me.  Things like filing court documents, requesting letters testamentary, publishing the notice to creditors, calculating the estate value, filing the final individual and estate tax returns, and doing more complicated things like selling a family business or doing a TEDRA agreement are things I would leave to the professionals (attorney and CPA).  Things like getting copies of the death certificate, filing for life insurance, distributing assets to the beneficiaries, and other similar activities, as well as funeral arrangements and obituaries and grave markers and taking care of personal property could pretty easily be done by the executor themselves I think.
Title: Re: Executing wills, trust, estate plan stuff
Post by: davisgang90 on February 24, 2019, 04:47:39 AM
Just updated all of these with my spouse.

We have a relatively uncomplicated estate, so the attorney set it up to be mainly DIY for our oldest son.

It was $900 for two wills, two POA and 2 living directives.  Lifetime answers to any questions down the road for free.
Title: Re: Executing wills, trust, estate plan stuff
Post by: bognish on February 24, 2019, 10:46:27 AM
The one attorney we met with quoted us $5000 to set up the documents and transfer assets into trusts for us. Seemed really expensive for investment accounts, a house and 2 kids (no businesses, second marriages or other complications). That pushed me back into procrastination instead of shopping around.

My sister, who would be dealing with this is smart, but I don't want to make her life unnecessarily complicated with complex trust structures at a time that she will be learning to be a mom to my 2 kids and having to deal with that whole deal.
Title: Re: Executing wills, trust, estate plan stuff
Post by: AMandM on February 24, 2019, 07:39:32 PM
Are you sure you need a trust? My impression is that those are way more expensive than simple wills. Could you just leave everything to your sister in the event both parents die?
Title: Re: Executing wills, trust, estate plan stuff
Post by: GizmoTX on February 28, 2019, 03:35:14 PM
No, NEVER leave money to anyone with the idea that they will pass it along to your kids (or anyone who needs managing).

Trusts do this best, but you don't have to set one up now. In the event that both parents die, have each parent's will name at least 3 guardians (in series, in case the first cannot serve) plus create a testamentary trust with at least 3 trustees (in series, in case the first cannot serve). The guardian does not have to be the financial trustee & in many cases should not be. The testamentary trust does not have to be expensive. I managed such trusts for my minor brothers (and my father!) created from my grandmother's will, and I'm not an attorney.