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Wills, Power of Attorney, Living Wills...I finally did it...If you need it...

CaptainBlyCaptainBly Senior MemberSt. PetersburgPosts: 2,690 Captain
Well, it has been a pretty crappy summer. My wife's mom passed away in June then my brother passed away in July. Fortunately, in both situations they had their paperwork in order. It has still been a little bit of an adventure with long lost family coming out of the woodwork looking for handouts but overall because they had their affairs documented and in order, it went smoothly.

But, that is something I had been putting off and off and off. This summer kind of smacked reality in my face though so I finally sat down and did it.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) I have a lot of friends that are Lawyers. Criminal, traffic, etc... Thankfully I haven't had to use my criminal lawyers for anything but having the traffic connection (thanks TokinRed) has come in handy a couple times over the years. Not for me (fingers crossed), but my wife and now my son has had their runins with the flashing blue lights while driving.

But, one of my friends specializes in Elder Law, ie, wills and all the other crappy paperwork that everyone puts off but really should make sure they have.

So, I finally did it and thought I would pass along a recommendation to any of you out there that might be interested in this.

Her contact info is:

Jennifer L. Terrana
(727) 871-2492
[email protected]

I have known her for a long long time. She is very trustworthy, she did a great job for me, and it wasn't as expensive as I figured it would be.

So, if this is something you have been considering, give her a ring and see if she can help you out.

Tight Lines.... And here is to a much better rest of 2013 and a great 2014....
In Loving Memory of James Zielske, January 19, 1957-July 5, 2013

Replies

  • Mackeral SnatcherMackeral Snatcher Senior Member up a creek without a paddle tampaPosts: 13,429 AG
    Thanks for posting.
    It's something we have been talking about and putting off.
    THERE SHOULD BE NO COMMERCIAL FISHING ALLOWED FOR ANY SPECIES THAT IS CONSIDERED OVERFISHED.
  • FishingAddictFishingAddict Senior Member Posts: 170 Deckhand
    Hate to admit it, but we finally did it when my oldest was 13. Dumb, dumb, dumb to wait that long. Could have been a nightmare for the kids and the rest of the family.

    It's a great to get it off the to do list.

    On the other hand, it's kinda spooky to see your will in writing...:-)
  • CaptainBlyCaptainBly Senior Member St. PetersburgPosts: 2,690 Captain
    On the other hand, it's kinda spooky to see your will in writing...:-)

    I was surprised by that. I was kind of feeling sick going over it.... Odd... But it is done.
    In Loving Memory of James Zielske, January 19, 1957-July 5, 2013
  • AsianBaitAsianBait Senior Member South TampaPosts: 173 Officer
    Take it from me, too. I'm going through probate now so I can become the representative of my father's estate, etc.

    you WANT to have a living will done. Don't put your kids/family/loved ones through what I have had to go through so far...

    Great advice and post. Thanks for sharing.
  • restlessnativerestlessnative Senior Member Tampa/Mason Creek/DamficarePosts: 3,054 Captain
    When my brother was suddenly killed in accident he had nothing done in that regard. I don't know how many certified death certificates, etc. I had to go through to get it all straightened out, but it took a couple years to finally get it all done, and several large CPA and attorney bills. He was only 29 and didn't have a huge list of assets so I can't imagine what it would be like for someone more well off and later in life.

    My father was diagnosed and died of cancer last year, luckily he had already been proactive about it long before but also had time to make sure it was all the way it was supposed to be. Still a process but went very smoothly.

    End of the day it stinks having to deal with that while at the same time grieving, but know it will make it easier on your family. Of course I say that and don't have any of it done myself. I am still young with no children and my life insurance policy is named to my wife, but this is still a good reminder it's never too early to have your affairs in order.
  • idlerickidlerick Senior Member Posts: 247 Deckhand
    Most estate settlements are now handled between the lawyers' secretaries and the courts' secretaries, via emails, with very little time actually spent by the lawyers themselves, I'm told by my friend & attorney here in Colorado. In most states the state courts have ruled that estate fees have to represent actual time spent. Fla & Calif, are the two exceptions and worst (read: expensive) states to die in without a trust. Not a will, but a trust. The lawyers there can charge whatever they please until someone finally challenges it in court and sets a precedent.
    So while wills are great, a living trust essentially eliminates all probate and will expenses and the effort associated with them.
    My Mom had a trust and died in 2012. I took her will to the Manatee county courthouse expecting to start the long hassle of settling her estate, but the clerk there just took the will, gave me a receipt, and filed it. NO ONE EVER READ IT! I found that hard to believe. As Executor, I was then free to start distributing her assets and paying her bills. With a trust, she may have died, but the trust that owned all her assets lives on forever and its wording gave me the right to pay bills, make bequests, split up her assets, etc.
    I could have gone thru probate and the whole thing would have been settled in 90 days, but we elected to save the legal fees and not to, so I had to wait 2 years for any bills/claims to come in.

    I'm certainly no expert on the subject, but from all I've seen, a living trust is the way to go if you own property or any significant assets. Might be worth asking your friend about since she's an expert. Let us know her response.

    Good post!
    :)
  • CaptainBlyCaptainBly Senior Member St. PetersburgPosts: 2,690 Captain
    Fortunately, my finances are pretty simple. Not 50 beneficiaries or a lot of crazy wishes for distibution of assets. Pretty much me, my wife, and our son. We were able to set everything up so no probate should be necessary but you are correct, probate could be a real PITA and there are horror stories about the types of things that have happened. I know with my mother in law, there were a lot of hands out to try and get "stuff" but the paperwork was clear and concise and took care of it. I was amazed at people that haven't been involved with the family in 20 years showing up at the door to try and get in on the spoils.

    The other big thing is the living will so you don't end up like Terry Shiavo and the Power of Attorney so someone does have the power to take care of things if they need to.

    Basically all this is CYA to protect your loved ones and make sure things happen that you wanted to happen. I am just glad I finally got it done. Something that had to get done that I kept putting off.
    In Loving Memory of James Zielske, January 19, 1957-July 5, 2013
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