Wills, trusts and drama: What to expect when settling an estate

We all face times when we suddenly, necessarily have to become experts on a topic we'd previously given little consideration. Some, like pregnancy, accompany positive changes in our lives. Others, like dealing with funeral planning and estate issues, are entirely the opposite. Yet, there's a pretty good chance you'll have to deal with these issues eventually, one way or another.

I want to share what I'm learning as my family deals with estate issues — wills and trusts — to give you a preview of what to expect. I'll add the usual disclaimer on a piece like this: I am not an estate attorney. That's kind of the point — I'm just a person, one who knows a bit about personal finance, who has gotten thrown into the estate-settling process and has found myself frequently surprised and confounded.

My Dad's Passing

My father died in March in Florida. He lived to be 79, an impressive accomplishment after surviving lung cancer 30 years earlier. In some ways, his passing was slow — although he survived cancer and avoided recurrences, he had lingering health issues that made him more reliant on oxygen tanks in the last years of his life. Still, he was surprised by the news in early March that he was terminal.

After that, his passing was, I guess you could say, fast.

My dad left behind four adult children and his wife, our stepmother.

He also — bless him — left behind what at the outset appears to be competently produced estate-planning documents: a will and a revocable trust. A bank is serving as the trustee, with a law firm representing the bank. So far, everything seems to be in order.

That doesn't make it simple.

Stats on Inheritances

Last year, I wrote a piece for SavingsAccounts.com covering what to do with an inheritance. MetLife had released a survey that found that two-thirds of Baby Boomers may expect some type of inheritance over their lifetimes, with the average amount being $64,000 (a boon for headline writers who remember old game shows, as you can tell).

Of course, those numbers are buoyed by large windfalls from sizable estates. You may have heard in May about Prince William's inheritance. He'll get $16 million from his mother's estate when he turns 30 on June 21st. An enviable amount, certainly, though — as with everything estate-related — tied up with all the negative emotions over loss.

Get Ready for Horror Stories

Earlier, I compared learning about the estate settlement process to discovering everything there is to know about pregnancy. Here's an unpleasant reason why: You'll hear other people's horror stories constantly. Instead of birth horrors, it's frustrated stories about delays. A coworker pointed to her older child, noting that the estate process had started when he was born — and, while everything recently was closed out, her son is now in grade school.

Even more worrying are the tales of family conflict. One friend told me about family members slipping into the deceased parent's unmonitored house to remove the prized gun collection. (Yes, it's Texas!)

It's fair to say that when money and family meet, the strain will start to show. Immediately. And especially when combined with a significant loss. Estate probate really won't be put on hold, which means you'll be interacting with lawyers and signing heaven-knows-what while you're still receiving condolence cards in the mail.

Keeping Your Own Counsel

One of the first choices you'll be faced is whether to retain an attorney. In some cases, you really may have no choice, based on how complicated your situation is and the role you have to play. In others, you'll walk the line that I do — knowing that it may be in my best interest to have my own representation, but struggling with affordability. It's hard to prioritize paying (possibly optional) legal fees when my house needs repairs now.

Additionally, the estate laws vary from state to state, so an attorney in Texas probably won't have expertise in Florida law. One lawyer I spoke with offered to help in the short term but indicated she'd refer me to a Florida attorney pretty quickly.

“You Want Me to Sign, What Now?”

The first communication my siblings and I received from the attorneys representing the trustee was an email letting us know to expect a waiver in the mail. If we signed the waiver, the message indicated, the process would go much faster. Mind you: The process wouldn't start until we either signed or returned the unsigned waiver. So “ignore it and it'll go away” wasn't a valid choice.

The waiver was mercifully short for a legal document, and all the experienced folks I talked to indicated “it's pretty standard.” But it had some worrisome language in it, binding us to agree, for example, not to contest the validity of the will in probate and to give up rights to formal service of documents.

In the end, I took the cheapskate's way out: I talked to a friend of a friend, a local estate attorney who was willing to eyeball the document as a favor and give me a cursory recommendation. She had her own disclaimer about Florida estate laws being different from those in Texas (her area of expertise), but, after listening to my concerns, she agreed the language was unexpectedly broad and I had no compelling reason to sign it.

I opted not to sign.

Find Some Answers Online

In the meantime, I went online for basic information and definitions. You'll find some good resources on the Web for basic information. Since my dad's estate is in Florida, I read the Florida Bar Association's consumer information on probate in Florida. It assuaged my concerns about how long the process was going to take — and, by “assuaged,” I mean it pretty much confirmed my coworker's multiyear estimate.

What's next? Reading the will — which turns out to be nothing like every movie scene you can imagine.

…to be continued…

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TB at BlueCollarWorkman
TB at BlueCollarWorkman
8 years ago

Honestly, I thought the whole thing went like it does in the movies. Everyone meets in a lawyers office and while s/he reads the will, everyone gasps in horror or cheers or whatever. And that’s it. Open and shut case. This post had an ominous ending! It’s not like the movies? Looking forward to the rest of the story!

Sheryl
Sheryl
8 years ago

One thing I’d add is that this process is going to be different for everyone. A lot of how the estate is settled depends on whether or not a will was written, and the existence of a surviving spouse can change a lot of things.

Becka
Becka
8 years ago

I got over my initial kneejerk “feh, pregnancy!” reaction and enjoyed this article. I look forward to reading the rest of your articles on this topic. Though I expect my father to live another 20+ years (well, don’t we all), he wants to sit down and talk about logistics soon. I don’t think either of us is looking forward to it, but I know it’ll make things easier if I’m a bit more prepared for the practical/legal aspects.

Eileen
Eileen
8 years ago
Reply to  Becka

You Dad is doing a great thing for you. As I mentioned in my post below, my mother and father (mostly my mother as my father had health issues) took care of everything. My mother saw how her own sister struggled to gather up all the ‘important docs’ when her husband died and after helping her sister through it, she was determined to do it all for herself and my father. My Dad has always taken care of their savings/investing, so it was really quite a task to pull it all together. It’s a huge undertaking, but so worth it.… Read more »

Eileen
Eileen
8 years ago

Thanks for posting. I’ll be curious to read the rest. My mother (widow) and father (deceased) did SUCH a good job with preparing themselves financially and legally (as well as downsizing when appropriate) that we children are extremely thankful. My husband’s family did not. His mother was ill with a terminal disease, but died suddenly about 6 months to a year before expected. His father is of diminished capacity and one sibling is nearby and has taken control of all things. Four years later and things are literally a mess. One sibling has taken legal action to protect his father’s… Read more »

Tie the Money Knot
Tie the Money Knot
8 years ago

I think this is one area of personal finance that is totally misunderstood by many people, and one where emotions can truly be heightened for many reasons. Particularly with multiple siblings, second marriages, etc.

Looking forward to reading the rest of your story.

Geoffrey Sadler
Geoffrey Sadler
1 year ago

It’s true… You never know what to expect. A lot of estates these days are running into weird conflicts, squabbling between siblings, conflicts with inexperienced executors… attorneys that communicate poorly… all kinds of disagreements with estate planning outcomes and family members. In fact, from my experience, it’s rare to see a family that actually gets along well, and communicates beautifully, and so on. Which, as the writer here says, causes a great many heirs to go ahead and hire their own estate lawyer on the side. Or as the writer here says, “Keeping your own counsel…” Well said. Estates need… Read more »

Dave Hilton, Financial Conflict Coach
Dave Hilton, Financial Conflict Coach
8 years ago

Emotions play a HUGE role in estate matters. It would benefit you to learn how to identify the personal conflict styles of your family members, so you know how to interact with them in a stressful situation like this. It will make things much smoother for you (and for them).

In Mediations, I’ve observed families argue over the smallest details in wills and other estate documents.

These arguments can quickly escalate into unresolved conflicts and, eventually, into grudges if left to fester.

I hope things work out well for your family.

Catherine
Catherine
8 years ago

This makes no sense. If there was a trust in place why are you having to go into probate? Please explain. It would also help if you gave some idea of the size of the estate and the relationship of the family members. Also, any idea why your father chose a bank to act as trustee?

chacha1
chacha1
8 years ago
Reply to  Catherine

A trust does not replace a will; you need both. (A trust mostly shelters some assets from taxes or reserves their use to specific people or activities.) A will has to be probated.

I am beginning the estate-planning process myself and would have appreciated specifics on exactly one aspect: how is probate initiated?

Ace
Ace
8 years ago
Reply to  Catherine

You almost always need a will to dispose of any property that was not placed in the trust prior to death. Often, trusts are written to be unfunded during life and are not funded until the will leaves everything to the trust upon the person’s death. As for your second question about the bank, remember that your trust is only as good as the trustee carrying out its directions. A bank trustee will cost money, but will also ensure that your trust is followed to the letter. If you designate one of your children to act as trustee, you run… Read more »

Catherine
Catherine
8 years ago
Reply to  Ace

Ace, I would be interested in knowing why anyone would want to go through probate if they can avoid it with a trust. Another important point that I think is accurate (please correct me if I am wrong) is that anything probated is public information. I know that the laws in each state vary, but in North Carolina and California you can avoid probate if you put all of your assets into a trust. You would be surprised at how many people forget to transfer assets. As regards the bank as a trustee, I have found that an expensive and… Read more »

Ace
Ace
8 years ago
Reply to  Catherine

The simplest answer to each of the issues raised in your post is, “it depends on the circumstances.” 🙂 To really answer your question about probate, one must understand that a trust is not a replacement for a will. They are different instruments designed to do different things. While you can often use a trust to accomplish the purposes of a will, it is not necessarily the best vehicle for doing so. So depending on what you are trying to accomplish and what your concerns are, there may be many reasons to have a will and go through probate, rather… Read more »

Laura
Laura
1 year ago
Reply to  Catherine

Hmmm…my dads will has taken 5 months to probate 1 month in al and still in probate in NC. What is the deal!

Catherine
Catherine
8 years ago

Agree. There were too many extraneous details and anecdotal horror stories and very little of informational value. I don’t need to know about some random person stealing guns in Texas; did this happen with her family? Did she talk to the estate lawyer at all or research Florida estate laws? Such a missed opportunity to give readers good information from a practical standpoint.

Kelly@thehungryegghead
8 years ago

I find it hard to start the conversation about wills with my parents and in-laws as death is a subject you never want to talk about with your nearest and dearest.

Yet I know if I don’t, I will have to sort out everything later on. My father-in-law is a hoarder, not quite as bad as the TLC series but 50% there.

Lisa
Lisa
8 years ago

One thing to discuss with parents/in-laws, if they have children with disabilities, is if they’ve put something in place specifically for those family members. I know where I live, if someone with a disability is left an inheritance, the state will claw back all of their disability benefits until the inheritance is spent. There are specific things that can be put in place, however, that allow someone with a disability to inherit money without this happening (it’s a specific type of trust… and setting it up requires having a lawyer who is familiar with these kinds of things).

chacha1
chacha1
8 years ago
Reply to  Lisa

That’s an excellent point. In a lot of cases, family resources have to be exhausted before government long-term-care or disability benefits will kick in.

Eileen
Eileen
8 years ago
Reply to  chacha1

Very good point. And it’s one of the things that my husband’s family is working thru, due to decisions made unilaterally and without input from the rest of the family and/or a qualified financial planner that specializes in this type of thing.

I think the biggest take away for me as a 1-step-removed from the family (as a daughter-in-law) is that no matter how awkward it may be to start having the difficult discussions, if your gut is telling you that you need to, or that something is amiss, you should absolutely act on it. Waiting only complicates things.

Laura
Laura
1 year ago
Reply to  chacha1

If a trustee is appointed can the beneficiary still become his/her own trustee

PawPrint
PawPrint
8 years ago
Reply to  Lisa

We had to specifically “disinherit” our granddaughter in our trust documents because of this. It felt awful, but it was necessary. Sadly, she died not that long after we finished our trust.

My annoyance is that some banks, like Smarty Pig, won’t let you put your account in the name of the trust. I should probably look into another targeted savings institution that will let me put the accounts into the name of the trust.

elysia
elysia
8 years ago

Hmm. I never know what to do with information like this. My father’s finances are a mess and he has no money, so I’m kind of assuming that I don’t need to worry about any of that. My mother has some money but needs to keep working. I think her will leaves the house to her partner (they own jointly) and split everything in thirds. Do I need to know more? My in-laws – cannot imagine trying to figure this out with them. We just had credit card companies calling us for their info because they’re overdue. If no one… Read more »

chacha1
chacha1
8 years ago
Reply to  elysia

It sounds like you need to assume that your improvident relatives will be moving in with you at some point! Yikes.

elysia
elysia
8 years ago
Reply to  chacha1

Well, my dad is already essentially a ward of the state, I think, complete with legal requirement that he has a conservator. He’s a bit … scary so not ever going to live with us.
My in-laws are very clearly defined as not living here ever.
And I’m not worried about my mom. I am 99% sure that her partner will care for her. If my sisters and I needed to help, we’d split it.

Laura
Laura
8 years ago
Reply to  elysia

If you are the executor of the estate and your parent(s)/in-laws die with debts, speaking strictly from practical experience here in MA (no legal background), you are expected to pay out any assets from the estate towards debts. You are not PERSONALLY responsible for debts. Creditors have to file a claim against the estate. However… In practice, what happened with us was when my dearly despised m-i-l finally died, she stiffed BoA for a princely sum (which IMHO they deserved as they had no business loaning that much money to an 83-year-old on SS – clearly they expected to get… Read more »

eec
eec
8 years ago

The standard document that you are asked to sign is an Acknowledgement of Service. It states that you are receiving a copy of the Petition to Probate along with a copy of the Will. Yes, this is standard. By not signing, you are telling the court you prefer to be personally served by the sheriff’f office. Your choice- but if you are not contesting the validity of the Will then just sign. No hidden agenda. It’s the state’s form.

Carol in Mpls
Carol in Mpls
8 years ago

I’ve commented about our situation here before, and I am so very thankful for all that my parents have done to make this process go as easily as possible for my brother and me. 1. They had their trust(s) drawn up over 20 years ago, and after my mother died, it passed to my father, with relatively little to be done. He became the sole trustee at that point. 2. Every year they would update us on the status of any changes, review investments,etc. 3. Father’s house sold 2 years ago, and he’s now in assisted living. His Long Term… Read more »

Eileen
Eileen
8 years ago
Reply to  Carol in Mpls

Sounds like the best one could hope for. And kudos for #5. The lack of openness between the ‘care taking’ sibling and the rest of my husband’s family has created a huge mess with my father in law and what is left of his life savings. No doubt the child that lives closest has carried more burden/responsibility, but there have been no check and balances. It was a recipe for disaster under most circumstances but with his failing health/dementia, it’s move into legal issues now. Of course, both sides (my husband is currently Switzerland) claim the other person is out… Read more »

Beverly J.
Beverly J.
1 year ago
Reply to  Carol in Mpls

Well, just wondered how often a parent disinherits 4 out of 5 children? My cranky father in WA state died at 92 and allowed our sister to control the last few years of his life. My father told an old friend of his that he was going to change our parent’s joint will (even though I thought that wasn’t allowed) at a time when my mother was in assisted living. My mother expressed her anger at the time to this same friend, with disinheriting 4 of her 5 children. She wanted all her children to inherit equally. He decided to… Read more »

KJ
KJ
8 years ago

I was thinking the same thing. All I walked away with is that sometimes things are complicated after someone dies.

Dani Renee
Dani Renee
8 years ago

My family and I are dealing with the probate process for a dear friend who recently passed. It’s horrible (he left a will with the belief everything transferred seamlessly under that – in California, it doesn’t). Perhaps the most disillusioning part of the process have been the ambulance chasing real estate agents/etc. who have solicited us by phone and mail. The NOLO books have been extremely helpful although we did retain a lawyer (against my recommendation – in California, the court mandates a percentage of the estate for the attorney and law firms have cleverly drafted a contract which essentially… Read more »

chacha1
chacha1
8 years ago

Here’s just one of the things I’ve learned since starting my estate-planning process. A 401(k) or 403(b) type retirement plan, in California, will default to spouse as beneficiary. If you are not married, do not have a will, and do not designate a beneficiary, the plan’s assets will be distributed by the state. So if you have a partner to whom you are not legally married in CA, for heaven’s sake, designate your beneficiary! Here’s another. A non-401(k) type retirement plan e.g. an IRA does NOT default to spouse. That is, you don’t need your spouse’s consent to leave the… Read more »

Amy
Amy
8 years ago

Spare us the second hand stories about texans…..I moved from that state to another in the north and can assure you where I live now, often leaves me longing for the civility of the south. So again, come up with real experiences of your own, not second hand, unconfirmable gossip. What I want to know is – how is this going to change YOUR estate planning? I hear so. very. little. about people who put get their estates in order (and then do the rest of us a favor and explain how they did it). I’d LOVE to hear more… Read more »

jim
jim
8 years ago
Reply to  Amy

What is so wrong with a reference to something that happened to someone in Texas?

It seems the author may be in Texas and dealing with an estate in Florida. References to the two states in question point out that the laws differ state to state.

Jan
Jan
8 years ago

We have lived through three of our four parents’ passing. First, if you are not the “close in distance” relative- do not moan over a salary for the one doing the care taking. The estate paid my bil $30,000 a year to do that for my mil. She was in an assisted care facility- but that did not mean that he said us oodles of $ by taking her to the doctor and doing her laundry. By visiting twice a week he found out things going wrong I the place. Unless you are willing to either move you loved one… Read more »

Eileen
Eileen
8 years ago
Reply to  Jan

I don’t disagree with any of what you’ve said. But there are right and wrong ways to handle this. First, you have to consider the size of the savings before you can just decide to pay yourself 30k/year. 30k/year is one thing if the savings is a million dollars, and it’s a totally different thing if it’s $150k. The most important thing is to be open about how an elderly parent and their finances are being managed. You’re absolutely correct, if siblings don’t like the arrangement, they should step up. But it should be an open discussion, not 1 person… Read more »

rose
rose
5 years ago
Reply to  Jan

What happens if there is an execut. and back up one and the first exect. sells the house of your mom’s before she passes? He said the will is nul and void since there is no house there is nothing to split? My mother too was in a private assisted living but with what she had in her personal account and the sale of the house there is still $211,000.00. As she just passed 4 wks ago, where’s that money? I asked for n accounting and he refuses to give one because he says there is no thing to account… Read more »

MelodyO
MelodyO
8 years ago

Interesting, because I love the anecdotal portions of this and every post the most amidst all the drier facts, and found the “To Be Continued” irresistible.

Pleased and Intrigued.

Ace
Ace
8 years ago

J.D. I hope that before you refused to sign the waiver, you at least asked to review the will and trust. Do you have reason to believe that you or anyone else will want to contest the estate? Does the trust appear, as far as you know, to inaccurately dictate your father’s wishes? If not, then you may have just exponentially increased the duration and cost of the estate settlement for no good reason. The attorney you spoke with did you no favor. Of course the waiver was broadly drafted–it is attempting to avoid any contest. The point it, what… Read more »

Ash (in US)
Ash (in US)
8 years ago

More disappointed than “unimpressed and annoyed” here. This site typically tries to give comprehensive stories, regardless of subject, and this article doesn’t meet that standard. To give a bad comparison: this felt more like a book with the back ripped off than part one of a trilogy. There’s an introduction that references what to expect, but it doesn’t tell you that this will be a two (or more!) part article, and without that to me it implies that it’s going to cover the entire subject mentioned in the intro, not just the first few bits. I’m interested in this story,… Read more »

Eileen
Eileen
8 years ago
Reply to  Ash (in US)

I thought this was too choppy, actually. It felt like the author was told she had to include certain info, like the stats on inheritance.

PennySaved
PennySaved
8 years ago

I have a revocable trust and a will. I am not married, don’t have kids and probably never will, being age 55. My nearest relatives live 1200 miles away in a different state, so I wanted to make disposition of my assets as easy as I could for them. Also the smaller the amount of assest that has to be probated, the smaller court fees there will be as they are usually based on some percentage of the probated assets. My will is called a pour-over will and says that any asset not already in my trust should go to… Read more »

Ace
Ace
8 years ago
Reply to  PennySaved

Keep in mind here that assets with their own internal beneficiary designation (like a bank account, IRA, mutual fund account, etc.) do not pass through a will or a trust so long as you have a beneficiary designated. They pass automatically on their own. (Of course, you can leave them to your trust if you wish, and then they will be administered according to the terms of the trust. But if all you want to do is leave them to a relative, simply designate the relative as the beneficiary or co-owner of the account, and forget about it.)

Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager
Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager
8 years ago

Hopefully I won’t have to deal with settling an estate anytime soon. But I am intrigued by your ending (or lack of one…)

Carol in Mpls
Carol in Mpls
8 years ago

Jenna, “hoping” you won’t need to do this soon is exactly why you should begin the planning process now. Unfortunately, accidents happen. The more prepared you are, the less stressful and unexpected death will be. Good luck, and get started 🙂

Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager
Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager
8 years ago
Reply to  Carol in Mpls

“Hoping” more for my family. My parents are still pretty young and have a plan. I’m still in my 20s and have my beneficiary all set up.

Derek
Derek
8 years ago

Estate planning is all about control. If you want to control how your stuff is distributed, without question, create an estate plan with a qualified attorney. Otherwise, you will be a victim of circumstance and will lose control of how your money is handed down. Same goes for your parents, so just ask them if they want to control what happens to their money. Both of you should seek the advice you need and set up a plan… this will give your family the peace of mind they deserve.

Ella
Ella
8 years ago

My family is almost two years into a very similar process. Charles Dickens’ “Bleak House” springs to mind. I can’t wait to read more about your family’s experiences.

JennInAustin
JennInAustin
8 years ago

This is such a tough subject for families and it always seems to take most folks by surprise once it happens. Even though, as they say, the only inevitable things are death and taxes. (And both are clearly implicated here!)

Nice to see an article that tackles this tough subject from a lay perspective. Every situation will be VERY different (not just a little different) so it’s impossible to go into much detail, but it gives us a good jumping off point for our own personal research. Thanks!

Evangeline
Evangeline
8 years ago

The most loving thing my mother ever did for me was make sure I had all documents necessary before I actually needed them. Occasionally, she would hand me something and say, ‘Here, put this with the rest.’ When the time came, I had everything I could have ever needed: the name and phone number of her chosen attorney, will, passwords, account numbers, original insurance policies, powers of attorney, etc. She logically realized there was no reason to keep the originals herself because an emergency could come at any time and I’d need those documents ASAP. That ‘survival packet’ helped me… Read more »

Crystal
Crystal
8 years ago

This sounds absolutely helllish. I am sorry. My parents like my little sisters more than me and I married an only child…maybe I can avoid this altogether…

elena
elena
8 years ago

I want to thank the writer for sharing her story and experience. I want to do right by my parents and in laws when the time comes, but the reality is I have very little control over they have chosen to set up their estates. I think the writer’s experience is fairly common. Wills, trusts, probate can be rambly drawn out affairs that we are terrified of screwing up because we don’t know what’s coming next, mistakes are expensive and they’re always some insensitive lout in the bunch who’s deeply critical of how it all goes down. As a reader… Read more »

Martin
Martin
8 years ago

First to the author, my condolances, my remaining parent also passed this March. I have also heard, and seen, horror stories. Fortunately to date nothing approaching the horrors has occurred, but what has become obvious is that this is a slow process even for a fairly straight forward situation. I expected this based on my friend’s parents passing. It was weeks for the court to confirm my sibling as executor, before which we technically were not supposed to divide up any property (decisions were made though). It will be months to over a year before the primary asset (parent’s home)… Read more »

Diane Carter
Diane Carter
4 years ago
Reply to  Martin

excellent advice.

Robert
Robert
8 years ago

Sorry about the Poster’s Loss. I am the executor when the time comes and am 1st on the POA’s. As things have happened, I ended up moving in with my Parents, I was in between jobs, can do my work over the ‘net and was in the process of moving. So my Dad approached me as to moving in and that he needed help. Dad is 92 and Mom is 89 and she is rated moderately to severe Alzheimer’s Dad had a Stroke in December that fortunately was classified as mild. Though he has cognitive problems that manifest themselves in… Read more »

Diane Carter
Diane Carter
4 years ago
Reply to  Robert

From many experiences with the Elder law, and countless dollars, it has been a total waste of money. Estate lawyers and Judges out weigh Elder Care Attorneys in my state of Indiana. Personally they are a rip off and costly. They do Wills, Trusts, Living Wills things you can do yourself, but when it comes to Estate planning be very, very, careful. I learned the hard and costly way. I shredded every paper and did most myself, and the Estate from an attorney that does nothing but Estates for far less the cost of an Elder Attorney.

Silvana Stubenrauch
Silvana Stubenrauch
7 years ago

I too do not support intellectual property’ being stolen & others profitting from it.. BUT I do not want to see the internet being constantly policed’ & arbitrarily controlled by CYBER-COPS’

Darryl Strom
Darryl Strom
7 years ago

Where can I get the documents to draw a Safe Harbor Trust for the State of Washington. I am a Para-Legal in Estate Planning for Wills and Trusts. Is there a Law Office in Washington State I can contact about these documents.

katherine
katherine
6 years ago

the trustee said I didn’t have a crust_ .NO rights to my dad trust.

Jennifer
Jennifer
6 years ago

Anyone have any insight with NC laws on trusts? Do you have to start probate… I thought a trust kept you from having to do this & also not be responsible for any debts??? How much do things likeththis cost… I’ve heard $2,000 & then also $5,000-$10,000 plus it could take 1+ yes to settle!

Oil Tyke
Oil Tyke
6 years ago

I am not sure that I agree with the trust in that the trustee can or not distribute with disgresion. How can we just receive our parts of the oil and cotton like we have been currently and just obsorb the owners part and still have a trustee to negotiate and/or act on our behalf and sure with pay but for me I want to be the one to say when where and what will happen with my part and how I spend or save it not someone else. We started this to avoid the irs crush but mom always… Read more »

Lisa Harper
Lisa Harper
5 years ago

I signed a waiver last year on behalf of my late brother and normally would not, being so shocked; heart hurting heavily, depressed and uncontrollable crying, I signed. I hate I did to this day as its been chaos with the county in which he lived. During his life time he mentioned his will to several family members and ironically there was not one when we learned of his death nearly 24 hours after he was found in his home. When my sisters and I made it to the county in which he lived, his home was locked up and… Read more »

Caroline
Caroline
5 years ago

My mother released a trust through the probate court, on august the 25 this year, but apparently the holding bank does not want to obey the court order and send the money to me, I was planning to use it to pay off some bills and put the rest into a savings account. But every time I call the account manager they are not there. This is considered the 4th largest bank in the world and so far its been a month since the probate court released the trust. How long can a bank draw this out, I thought once… Read more »

Dave
Dave
5 years ago

My two brother would like to take a step mother to court to comfy with a will but I dont want to can they force me being a trustee of will just the same as them

donna
donna
4 years ago

I am having difficulty going on 5 years. Now the trustee has stopped communication with me all together. Very frustrating. I guess I need to hire an attorney. By the way the trustee is my uncle imagine that.

Heather
Heather
4 years ago

We just started going through probate for our relative’s estate. She left a will. The executors are brothers at a CPA firm. They won’t respond to emails. We are not being kept informed, my father being the last immediate next of kin is concerned. The executor and their attorney keep asking our relative’s neighbor for information when we have said we don’t want them involved. My dad got that waiver request but no one else (those in the will) did. We hired an attorney. Not sure what to expect next.

Keith Grayson
Keith Grayson
4 years ago

Being a Trustee is a license to steal. This sounds dramatic and cliche’,the fact is a trust has no oversight. I was a 50% beneficiary of a family trust of $2.3 million cash, I was asked by My Grandmother to live with her, she had never been alone in 65 yrs,used a walker, had relied upon my Grandfather 100%. I was born when she was 40 and she was more of a Mom to me than my poor Mom who was 17 for 2 months when I was born. My Grandmother never liked women and I knew she had a… Read more »

Diane Carter
Diane Carter
4 years ago
Reply to  Keith Grayson

I say BRAVO to you for telling it like it truly is. indeed being a Trustee is a license to steal. ALWAYS ask for supervised will, ALWAYS!!!

Ann Margaret
Ann Margaret
4 years ago

Hello Mam If I were you I would pray about it and give it to Lord, He will sort out the problem. Remember there are many things in life that man cannot solve but the good Lord can. Have faith and trust in the one above because He makes every thing possible. I will keep you in our daily pray and every thing will work out just fine for you and your family. Take care Ann Margaret PS: I never go on the Internet in a hurry I just don’t know how I stumbled on this story and it really… Read more »

michael civitano
michael civitano
3 years ago

I have a court appointed trustee which is a lawyer. I should have had my final payment 7 months ago on my 40th birthday. The lawyer is sending it in pieces instead of one check and still owes me a considerable amount of money. Since my last dispursement he kept telling me the check will be in the mail on Friday. This went on for the past 4 months.He now stopped returning my calls. I’m going to start by putting in a complaint form with the ethics committee. Any ideas on what to do next? The Will was probated in… Read more »

mel
mel
3 years ago

I live in Texas and I am being told since my son is a minor his portion of the sale of the home has to go into the registry of the courts and I am having a hard time with this as he is only 4 and I would like the money to be somewhere it will grow. Ineed to see if it is true since it is realestate that it his portion of the sale has to go into the courts instead of a trust or a utma account

Jenny
Jenny
3 years ago

I live in New York City. My Aunt ( My Fathers Sister) just recently passed away and I received a phone call from her sister ( My Other Aunt ) stating that My Sister and I need to sign a waiver proving that she ( My Aunt ) is the owner of the house that both of my Aunts live in and belonged to My Grandmother. 20 Years ago My Father passed away and right after him his Mother ( My Grandmother ) passed away as well. We were asked back then to sign a waiver. We were young and… Read more »

Marie
Marie
1 year ago

I live in Texas and my relative made it very clear over the years he was never close to kids and learning more he even began telling me how the only time he spoke to them is when they called to borrow money. And they never were around for many years. One of them freeloaded well into his 50s and never stopped hitting him up for big lump sums to pay debts and buy trucks. After a while I started to hear him repeat remarks that sounded like verbal abuse. One of them was kicked out by the police also… Read more »

Millie Hue
Millie Hue
1 year ago

Thanks for pointing out that each state has a different regulation that is why the lawyer in one state can’t also be an expert in another state. With that in mind, I will tell my mom to choose a lawyer who is a local in our state. She just needed the help of a lawyer already since she said that she is already old that is why she needs to prepare her will while she is still strong.

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