Got the ball rolling on changing my will

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by LauraH, Aug 16, 2018.

  1. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    I finally got up off my lazy butt and went to see a lawyer about a new will. I probably could have done it myself, since neither my husband nor I own any real estate or business interests, but I wanted to make sure every I was dotted and every T crossed.

    If I go before my husband he's my sole beneficiary, so no problem there. But if I outlive my husband then my son is my sole beneficiary. There won't be much left, but my IRA and stocks that I own could be as much as $10k. Again, not much, but given the horrible choices my son continues to make, giving him that much money would make as much sense as giving a pyromaniac a gallon of gasoline and a match. So my niece will be in charge of distributing whatever amount and whenever she deems appropriate. It's completely at her discretion, because she knows my son, she knows my wishes, and I trust her judgment completely. She's not much older than my son but where he's homeless (in and out of shelters, rehabs, and friends' homes) and barely getting by on a daily basis, she's a successful businesswoman with a good head on her shoulders.

    The lawyer asked me if there was a time frame or age limit to this stipulation and I said no, then jokingly said yes, when my niece gets fed up with dealing with my son. I already told her if it gets to that point she has my blessing to say the hell with it, send him a check for any remaining money, and let the chips fall where they may.

    Now just waiting for the lawyer to draft the will and then sign the final version and that's done. That's one burden lifted off my shoulders. And I think we got a pretty good deal too...$250 covers my will, my husband's will, power of attorney and durable (medical) will for both of us.
     
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Is your niece getting any money for her trouble. I would give her a chunk. You sound fond of her and doling out money for a difficult person is hard work. I hope your niece is power of attorney. Can you trust your son??
     
  3. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    I trust my son's intention's but I don't trust his behavior and decision making. Just the other day I sent him $50...it was his money from when he participated in some kind of research study but they only paid through Paypal so since he doesn't have an account he had it deposited to mine. Anyway, it was his money and really none of my business what he did with it, but he said he needed it to get his medications. Two days later he called asking me if I could send him money to get his medications. I didn't ask him what he had done with his $50, just told him I couldn't help him. If he got $5 or $10k in a lump sum it would be gone within a week or two and he would have absolutely nothing to show for it.

    My niece doesn't want anything from me. She makes more in a month than I make in a year. But I just had a thought that I need to ask my attorney. Would she be liable for any taxes on the money? If so, I will absolutely tell her, if nothing else, to deduct that from whatever will go to my son.
     
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  4. Snow White

    Snow White Temporarily in the Magic Kingdom

    Good for you, LauraH. Doing up a proper will is really important. Having it now ensures that your wishes are carried out. We've revised ours a couple of times and now that our son is of age (and totally responsible), we can trust that he will do the right things when the time comes. We have specified how monies are to be distributed to daughter - like your son, she would spend it all if she had it up front.

    So nice that you have a niece you can trust with this important role.

    I'm assuming that you are in the US. I can't comment on estate tax laws there.
     
  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    We did our wills a few years back. Currently, we are leaving everything to our grandchildren, the ones that my son abandoned. I hope someday he can show responsibility and that we might include him. I know my son and if he were to come into a large sum of money it would go to drugs and alcohol. My husband and I have worked to hard to get where we are to have it all squandered away.
    It's not an easy decision to make but our lawyer was a great help. She shared with us that she has many clients that have not included their children in their wills for various reasons. It's a very personal decision as to how one wants their will to be carried out.