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Easy_C Offline

Posts: 5,063
Joined: Oct 2014
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Post: #1
Will Thread

I've got a quick question I'd like to ask. I've been looking into re-making the will to account for changes and new kids, but as far as I can determine most online will makers aren't great.

What would I need to include in a will in order for it to be sufficiently robust for my purposes? In this case the custody would be rather simple as we've discussed with all parties involved and want custody of assets and children to go to the member of the wife's family (in specific priority). I'd also want financial and physical assets to fall under their custody as well with the intention (with flexibility for financial emergencies) for those to be used for living and educational expenses for the children.

So it's a relatively straightforward arrangement, is there anything I'd want to put in there that I couldn't get from a pre-fab form?
05-02-2020 06:04 PM
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Hypno Offline

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RE: Will Thread
Kids are not property so you can’t direct their custody by will. A court will take into account your wishes as to guardianship if there is no surviving parent, but that is not a prefab will and you want a family law attorney in your state to draft it.

A prefab will is good for property. The quicken wllmaker is pretty good product for a simple situation but not for minor children.

Let me give you an example. I am going through a divorce, but the courts in my state are closed so the divorce is taking forever. Under the laws of my state, if I were to die without a will my legal wife would inherit my entire state. So I just had my lawyer do a will for me. My children are not adults yet, so I have named a family member as trustee. Even if they were adults, I wouldn’t want them to come into that much money. So I will not only name the trustee, but gives the trustee parameters about how much funds to disperse. Generally, they will get money to pay for college and living expenses until they graduate from grad school. There’s bonuses for graduation, etc. They get some of the money at age 25, and the balance at age 30. Those are fairly common provisions in a trust, but the quicken will maker and prefab wills and trusts don’t really have that. Suspend a few bucks and talk to a real lawyer.
05-02-2020 08:01 PM
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paninaro Offline

Posts: 458
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Post: #3
RE: Will Thread
Hypno's advice is excellent, and take note of the bit where kids don't get the whole estate upon turning 18, but rather over time. That's really wise -- most 18 year olds would just splurge and the money would be gone within months.

Also if your assets are substantial (in the millions), you should consider how to avoid estate taxes. The federal limit is fairly high now, but state limits may be lower. Your will can be written such that the money goes into trust, or at least the amount above the tax-free limit.

Estate taxes are nonsense -- the money you have was already taxed when you earned it, so no reason to tax it again.
05-02-2020 10:36 PM
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