Planning for our Death

michie1September 2, 2002

My husband & I are interested in making a will, a living trust, durable power of atty, etc., but I don't know the type of atty that would specialize in this - would it be an estate atty? Also does anyone have any idea what it costs to set these documents up? Also how do you find out if an atty is any good?

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It cost my wife and myself about $2,000 to do this about 4 years ago.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2002 at 3:49PM
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Note that there is a "standard" out there but no state has adopted the standard, so for such plans to be quite reliable you need to consult someone in the state where you are a resident and if you move you may have to change a few things. Some states like Utah and Nevada very different.

Also some pre-death things may be different. MIL found it much easier to get alzhimer hubby admitted in Wyoming than in Nevada and MediCaid was more easily arranged there.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2002 at 5:40PM
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You need to consult an estate attorney. You can probably search through the phone book for names and set up initial consultations; they should meet with you for free. Then you select an attorney you feel comfortable with. Or you can poll your friends and co-workers for their attorneys' names, see how comfortable they are with them.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2002 at 5:50PM
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Just check around and get a respected attorney in your area. I just had a will, living will,durable power of attorney, declaration naming preneed guardian and designation of health care surrogate all signed, sealed and filed at the County Courthouse for less than $250.00. This was done by an attorney who is well known and respected in my hometown.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2002 at 8:42AM
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Aren't their kits that you can do yourself and file yourself? Does anyone know about these? DH and I don't have any kids and won't ever, so "estate" would go to siblings, which should be a rather simple deal because we don't have much. We also want to set up a trust for the critters to make sure they get properly rehomed and cared for. Of course, we'd have to change the names of said critters as they pass on and we acquire new ones. I'd also want living wills and designation of health care surrogate for both of us.

What county agency does one contact to find out what is needed? Our families know our wishes, but I'd like to get it all in writing. And especially set ip the trust for the critters.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2002 at 5:40PM
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I've seen packets at Best Buy that contain CDs with various legal things on them; I think I saw one for divorces. Maybe there's one for wills?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2002 at 9:38PM
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Meghane, County agencies and courts are not supposed to give out any legal advice at all. You either do it yourself and accept the risks, or hire a lawyer.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2002 at 1:01AM
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A Will, Living Trust, Durable Power of Attorney, Living Will, all that other jazz. God help those that have to deal with them. I'm dealing with two "living trusts' as we read.

Cash out all your income checks and put the cash in a safe deposit box. Sell your house while you're alive (even if it's to your kids). Any other "legal options" will make them hate you when they have to deal with banks after one of you goes. Been there, doing that, ain't no fun.

Be sure all stocks are in a brokerage house, preferably a cheap commission online place.

While you have all this time, see if you can figure out what your basis is for all your stock, unless you're planning to die at the same time (when one of you dies, the basis goes for 1/2 or the stock on date of death for he/she. But the other 1/2 basis stays with the purchase basis.

Am I bitter about this???? You Betcha!!
Put money in Tax Free Munis
Put cash in Safe Deposit Boxes
Keep less than $30K in Checking Accounts.
Keep the Minimum in the associated Savings Accounts to give you free checking account.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2002 at 9:34PM
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Below is a website that lists many attorneys who specialize in estate planning and eldercare. I know this is not a complete list since the attorney we are meeting with who specializes in these issues does not appear on my state's list. If you do a search for "estate planning attorneys", you may find other names.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   October 23, 2002 at 11:22PM
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I suggest ask around among your friends, colleagues, shrewd managers of their afairs, etc. for a recommendation.

It seems to me that the whole kaboodle should be set up for less than $500., in a number of cases - but prices may vary widely in different areas.

Check under "Money Saving Tips" forum for my offer of a (no expense) Christmas gift (first written a year ago, recently retreaded, at no out-of-pocket expense to me this year, either) for an idea that may help. If you're not in a hurry.

I don't like the idea of the fill-in-the-blank forms, for your wills, at least. Especially if some of the beneficiaries, or some who may think that they should have been, are inclined to be litigious.

Where there's a way - there may be a will.

Hope you find the way to accomplish your desires.

joyful guy

    Bookmark   January 21, 2004 at 11:01PM
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