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Random Queries > Do you have a will? How about a living will?

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message 1: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments I don't mean to sound morbid (well, any more than usual) but do you have a will? What about a living one?

I have both, but I haven't looked at them in forever, so I probably should. If you don't have a will, get one. I also have the standard "don't keep me on a machine forever" boilerplate language for a living will. I hope it works.

You?


message 2: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11605 comments We have both. They were last updated seven years ago.

Have you also named the person who will decide on pulling the plug?


Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments No, I don't have either. Maybe since I don't have children, I haven't worried about who gets what when I die. And I didn't have much to leave, either, just a lot of books, and some hand-me-down furniture.

But now that I'm in my mid-40s, maybe it's time to do something about wills. Hmm.


message 4: by Barb (new)

Barb I / We have neither ... really should get on that.


message 5: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24073 comments Mod
Also don't forget that your 401(k)s and IRAs have beneficiaries, so if anything in your personal life changes, like marriage, divorce, death of parent/spouse/sibling etc. you need to keep those up to date.

I have a good friend whose husband was killed in a vehicular accident at age 44. He had no will. She was the beneficiary of his small life insurance policy, but his ex-wife and stepson now have a claim on his house, which she lives in, which they lived in together before he died. She recently found out that he had a balloon mortgage on the house, meaning the whole shebang is coming due in the next year. Ordinarily she would refinance, but she can't without the ex-wife signing off on it, which the ex-wife will not do because she wants half the proceeds of any sale of the house. It's a total mess and my friend is having huge anxiety attacks.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

I don't have a will but should. It's one of those things on the to do list. I have discussed with my husband the desire to have any useful organs donated. I am pretty sure I won't be needing them once I'm gone.


message 7: by smetchie (new)

smetchie | 4034 comments I did a will after my first was born but I'm not sure how legal it is. It was just some template I filled out and had witnessed. No lawyers or anything. I guess I should really do it right since I still haven't updated it since my 2nd was born. Lawyers are so expensive!


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

We have both, but it would probably be wise to get refreshed on them.


message 9: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Paschen | 7069 comments I need to update ours. First time we put a will together the hardest thing was deciding where the kids would live if both of us died. Now that they are 18 and 21 they still need guidance, but not necessarily a place to live.


message 10: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments i do not have a will of any kind. the total of my debt will be inherited by some unfortunate member of my immediate family. jk. distributing my wealth though will not be a hotly contested matter. i have very little of value

phil - i think the one that stands to gain the most pulls the plug. (whether they are supposed to or not)


message 11: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments First time we put a will together the hardest thing was deciding where the kids would live if both of us died.

This was the most important for me, too. I didn't want my crazyass family saying they had a right to my kids.


message 12: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments my children are all grown up and over 19 now. this is no longer a concern of our although when they were younger we designated a friend to be guardian rather than the flippin Addams Family that we are related to


message 13: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Lopez | 4728 comments I have life insurance, with my wife as the beneficiary, but no will and no living will. Should probably do something about both of those things.


Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) We did one of those free Suze Orman ones and had a friend notary it for us.

At some point we need to do better, me thinks.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Kevin "El Liso Grande" wrote: "i do not have a will of any kind. the total of my debt will be inherited by some unfortunate member of my immediate family. jk. distributing my wealth though will not be a hotly contested matter. i..."

There may not be a lot to distribute, but money does make people act differently. Our will says nothing more than to divide our hundreds evenly between the two kids, that way one doesn't get 70% and one 30% and a few years later the bad feelings arise.

More importantly though, make sure you have it written down if you want to be resuscitated, or when to pull the plug etc. It will help to take that decision away from someone.


message 16: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments jim - i will die in a fiery crash somewhere involving high speeds, chainsaw fuel, and arrow and two cross-dressing nuns. there will be no plug to pull.


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

So the last words you will speak will be "Hey ya'll watch this!".


message 18: by Gus (new)

Gus Sanchez (gussanchez) I have both. My wife and I updated them a few weeks ago before we all went on vacation. One never knows.

I have it in my will that the plug is to be pulled if I'm completely brain dead or beyond repair (whatever that means). I wish I could have mandated it that my wife pull the plug; talk about an ultimate demonstration of love...


message 19: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24073 comments Mod
NYT tests four different will-writing programs.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/11/you...


message 20: by Meels (new)

Meels (amelia) Actually, there are disadvantages to a will as opposed to a trust or TOD designation, or making things joint tenants with rights of survivorship. Everything has to go through probate if you have a will...meaning the state gets close to half in lots of cases.

I don't have either. My husband knows I don't want to hang around like a vegetable, as does my sister who has already been slated to take care of me when I'm old and feeble (she's ten years younger than me and I have no kids). I trust them to let me go. As for a will, I have nothing of value that is not taken care of by one of the other modes of bequeathment.


message 21: by Meels (new)

Meels (amelia) *shakes fist at the tax man*


message 22: by Pat (last edited Sep 17, 2010 05:56AM) (new)

Pat (patb37) Amelia wrote: "Actually, there are disadvantages to a will as opposed to a trust or TOD designation, or making things joint tenants with rights of survivorship. Everything has to go through probate if you have a..."

?
Probate has nothing to do with the state getting anything. Probate is to insure that the will is genuine and that there are no outstanding claims on the estate.
I don't understand why I see so much complaining about probate. I have been the executor on two estates, and I find it to be no big deal. Maybe its because I was not dealing with estates that held fairly straight forward assets, and were not worth a lot of money.


message 23: by Meels (new)

Meels (amelia) Pat, if you have value in your estate, your inheritors pay tax on what they inherit through the will. Anything that avoids the "Estate" and probate avoids those taxes.

Say you have an individual brokerage account worth $100,000.00 and you die. That goes into an estate account and the court decides, through your will, who gets it, but the state gets it's share. If you had the same account in a TOD (Transfer on Death) designation with beneficiaries designated like on an IRA, that account then transfers to those beneficiaries directly never going through the estate and so not being hit by inheritance tax. The same would be done with a Joint Tenants With Rights of Survivorship account, the joint holder would simply take sole possession of the entire account. Trusts are a bit more involved, but still do not go through the estate.


message 24: by Barb (new)

Barb Oooh - how informative.


message 25: by Blanca (new)

Blanca (blancadaver) | 48 comments I won't leave a will. They'll fight over my stuff anyway, so just B U R N it all. Mwahahaha..


message 26: by Pat (new)

Pat (patb37) Amelia wrote: "Pat, if you have value in your estate, your inheritors pay tax on what they inherit through the will. Anything that avoids the "Estate" and probate avoids those taxes.

Say you have an individua..."

You example is right except for the amount of money that triggers the estate tax.An estate worth 100K pays no estate taxes. This year, no one pays any estate tax. Next year the taxes kick in at 600K.

IRA accounts that have been tax deferred must pay income taxes (but not necessarily estate taxes) when withdrawn regardless of who does it. It can be the original account holder, a trust, a beneficiary, an estate etc.

Joint tenancy is fine if the people holding the asset in joint are never sued or have money problems. It's not something most advisors recommend for handling an estate across generations.

Blanca has the right idea. Better to leave nothing for the heirs to sort out.


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