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Dear Wendy

PSA – Estate Planning

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  • #875435 Reply
    avatarPart-time Lurker
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    No matter how old you are please don’t forget to do a little estate planning. Double check the beneficiaries on life insurance, 401k plans and pensions. My BIL died very unexpectedly recently and his widow just found out she wasn’t the beneficiary on his life insurance policy. We don’t have all of the details but it sounds like it may have been his first wife and they divorced like 20 years ago! My poor husband is now panicking about our estate planning and double checking everything. My grandmother’s estate was even worse. You’re never too young to plan ahead so that your loved ones are protected and have as little to deal with as possible while grieving.

    #876271 Reply
    MaterialsGirlMaterialsGirl
    Participant

    We literally JUST got our wills, trust etc all signed last week!!!!

    #876521 Reply
    avatarMrs. Danvers
    Guest

    I would further add to NOT write these documents yourself (the last one page self-written will that my office probated ended up costing a total of $250K in attorney fees) and to NOT use an entertainment/bankruptcy/personal injury/general law attorney. Have a certified trust & estate attorney draft the documents for you. In this case the cheap is expensive; I can’t tell you how much “clean up” work we do. If only people had done it correctly the first time, it would have been cheaper.

    #876522 Reply
    MaterialsGirlMaterialsGirl
    Participant

    @mrs.danvers are you talking about legal zoom type documents? We used them, but did the big package with legal counsel etc (and health directives etc)

    #876601 Reply
    avatarMrs. Danvers
    Guest

    MaterialsGirl: I’m talking about any type of estate plan document NOT drafted by a state bar certified trust & estate specialist. Like I said, the cheap is expensive. The cleanup work costs more than if folk went to the specialist in the first place. Our firm’s specialty is litigation (usually due to a poorly drafted document) and clean up work, either with a trust administration or probate.

    #876633 Reply
    Miss MJMiss MJ
    Participant

    Definitely wouldn’t trust form documents off of the internet to get a will (or most other legal documents, for that matter) right. State laws vary widely and having even one thing missing or wrong – no matter how technical or tiny it seems – can invalidate the entire document. And, in the case of not only wills, but other documents like health directives, power of attorney appointments, employment agreements and non-competes, pre-and post-marital agreements, real estate documents, wills, trusts and a host of other documents, you don’t know it’s wrong until it’s too late to fix it. It’s worth the time to have an actual lawyer do it. You can often find lawyers who do basic packages for a reasonable flat fee. @MaterialsGirl, I’d at least find a trust and estate lawyer to look over what you’ve got to make sure it’s correct. You can find one through your states bar association lawyer referral service. I, too, have seen how wrong these things can go because someone’s form wasn’t *quite* right.

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