Articles and audion on New York Wills and Trusts

E183 Did Her Estate Plan Work?

E183 Did Her Estate Plan Work? A Solo Ager Example


Let’s take a look at a real world example of whether a Solo Ager’s estate plan worked towards the end of her life.

Ms.H’s Plan: DIY Will + Professional Executor

Background

Ms. H is a solo ager (unmarried, no kids, over 60 years old) who’s been estranged from her closest relatives (siblings and nieces and nephews) for decades.

She made a do-it-yourself will leaving everything to charity. Thankfully, she hired a lawyer to supervise her will signing.

Ms. H named me her professional executor in her will, and over the past 10 years her wishes have remained largely the same.

Recently

Sadly, age has caught up with Ms. H, and she was recently hospitalized for lack of self-care. Her doctors agree they cannot discharge her to live alone anymore, so we’re making arrangements for Ms. H to move into assisted living.

take care of yourself

She’s understandably anxious about all this, and even contacted her long-estranged niece and asked her to visit.

What Went Right with Her Plan?

Ms. H avoided a few problems by naming me her professional executor.

First, she won’t have to deal with any “court-appointed strangers,” such as a guardian. Instead, she can turn to me, someone she’s chosen and has a relationship with.

Second, she felt comfortable reaching out to estranged family, without fear they’d try to sneak into her inheritance. Since Ms. H already has a will and an attorney-executor standing by, her niece has focused solely on reconnecting with Ms. H emotional, not financially.

And lastly, Ms. H’s doctors, hospitals, and social worker have all been grateful to have me as a main point of contact for her care.

What Went Wrong with Her Plan?

Her plan does have a couple of weaknesses.

Since an executor steps in after death, I don’t have authority to help Ms. H now. For example, I can’t help make financial arrangements for her to access a better assisted living. She much choose among the options thru Medicare.

Also, if unscrupulous and aggressive family comes out of the woodwork, I have fewer tools to fend them off. We’d have to battle in court, which could waste Ms. H’s time and money, and cause her stress.

Why a Trust Could Have Been Better

If Ms. H had made me trustee, I’d be better to avoid any court-appointed strangers for her. And more ability to upgrade her care, and deter unwanted family, without having to go to court.

Living trust and estate planning form on a desk.

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E179 3 Steps to Make Sure Your DIY Will Works

E179 3 Steps to Make Sure Your DIY Will Works


Since we keep seeing folks who are going the DIY will route, a few more tips on how to make sure that software or will form actually works

Today we’ll discuss:

  1. Use local software/forms
  2. Keep it simple
  3. Hire a lawyer to supervise the signing

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E178 Solo Agers and Hospice Care

E178 Solo Agers and Hospice Care


Talking Solo Agers and Hospice Care with Helen Bauer and Jerry Fenter from the Heart of Hospice podcast.

Helen shares her personal experience helping during a Solo Ager friend’s final weeks. And Jerry shares some Solo Ager statistics and what he learned from Solo Ager Facebook groups.

Links: http://www.theheartofhospice.com/

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E177 Yes, I Can Be Your Executor Outside New York State

E177 Yes, I Can Be Your Executor Outside New York State


I keep getting calls, asking me to be executor outside New York. I’m flattered, and honored, and yes AVAILABLE for that role.

  1. Locality becoming less important
  2. In-state agent requirement
  3. Reciprocal nonresident executor law

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E176 How a Trust Keeps it in the Family

E176 How a Trust Keeps it in the Family


We’ll share the story of how one of my trusts played out, and how it’s accomplished the goal of keeping it in the family

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E173 Essential Retirement Planning for Solo Agers with Sara Geber Part 2

E173 Essential Retirement Planning for Solo Agers with Sara Geber (Part 2)

Talking “Essential Retirement Planning for Solo Agers” with Sara Zeff Geber. In part 2, we cover:

(1) The importance of social networks for Solo Agers, and
(2) Who can Solo Agers choose as their Executors, Guardians, and Custodians?

E172 Essential Retirement Planning for Solo Agers with Sara Geber Part 1

E172 Essential Retirement Planning for Solo Agers with Sara Geber (Part 1)

Talking “Essential Retirement Planning for Solo Agers” with Sara Zeff Geber. In part 1, we cover:

(1) Who are Solo Agers? and
(2) Different Housing Options for Solo Agers

Buy the book “Essential Retirement Planning for Solo Agers” at (https://amzn.to/2AqEIYD)

E163 Always Leave Inheritance in a Trust Fund

E163 Always Leave Inheritance in a Trust Fund


Rich people don’t walk past free money, they pick it up (metaphor, not literally). Let’s discuss an estate planning example: asset protection trusts instead of direct gifts

Today we’ll discuss:

  1. What’s a direct gift?
  2. What’s an asset protection trust?
  3. Why it’s “free money” that EVERYONE should take

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E162 Post-Coronavirus Trusts Make Even MORE Sense

E162 Post-Coronavirus Trusts Make Even MORE Sense


There are lots of reasons why a trust is better than just a will. And post-coronavirus, a trust makes even MORE sense.

Today we’ll discuss:

  1. Video notary instead of witnesses
  2. Quarantine is a new type of incapacity
  3. Locked down courts: another reason to avoid probate

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E161 Court-Appointed Strangers

E161 Court-Appointed Strangers

Most of us cringe at the idea of some stranger or bureaucrat having power over us. But that’s exactly what happens with Court-Appointed Strangers. Specifically Guardians: the strangers with power over our seniors

Today we’ll discuss:
(1) How Guardians get power
(2) Some unnerving examples
(3) It’s always about money
(4) How to avoid this type of stranger
(5) Other types of court-appointed strangers