- Jan 31, 2014
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Yes death brings out the catiness in families. I am working on a Trust for that exact reason. Jon already has his set up-his brother died unexpectedly in 2010? 2011? and he had a trust set up so Jon just went to that Lawyer and get his affairs in order. I need to do the same-as probably leave my accounts to my nieces/nephews since I don't have children and they are all animal lovers and really good kids-I see a typo in my post above. It is called a "Pour Over Will". In California, the purpose is to cover things that exist outside of your trust that you may not have had time or forethought to put into your trust. It allows your Executor to file a Heggstad Petition which is like a mini probate where the Judge will issue an order allowing your Executor to disperse the property. I don't know if other states have such an instrument.
Speaking from experience not having your affairs in order wreaks havoc on your family. My step Dad died two years ago and had nothing in the form of a Will or Trust even when I offered to draft them for free. He was 79 and didn't see any urgency since people in his line lived into their 90's. He was wrong.
It brings out the worst in people. One of my sisters became someone we didn't know existed with the level of greed and willingness to fight. Thankfully my Dad had some accounts that were able to move by beneficiary designation and my youngest brother was the sole beneficiary in that situation. Clearly it was what my Dad wanted. I helped my brother to take care of the accounts before my sister tried to fight him in court. That is when I really saw the benefit of POD benefits with bank accounts, beneficiary designation, etc. Everything else in his estate had to go through Probate Court. Even though three of us were step-kids he had raised since we were 5, 4, and 3 years of age, the Michigan court only considered blood relatives. He was our Dad. Instead, a child that he had out of wedlock, never raised, and didn't meet until the child was an adult ended up as an equal beneficiary in the eyes of the court. My Dad would roll over in his grave knowing how it ended up. His mistake however.
My dad been pestering me to come to the bank to add me to his accounts so when he dies I can still pay bills but he rents his home to someone and it's not an official contract-so been dragging my feet because I can't afford to pay for taxes and utilities in his house as the rent isn't enough to cover it-my dad covers half the costs-and I can't kick out an elderly person in the moment when he passes away..I am trying to get him to go to the lawyer and have some kind of contract made up but ya know it's just a difficult conversation and also yes make sure you voice your wishes to your loved ones concerning your physical property.
I just don't know if I want to take on my dad's request but I probably will..these things can get complicated very fast...