Personal Finance

How to decide distribution in a will (single, severely ill)

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 18th, 2018 8:07 pm
Banned
Aug 24, 2018
196 posts
119 upvotes
Specifically name in the will all first degree relatives, indicating you did not forget about them.

Insert a general disinheritance clause.

If your "soundness of mind" is a possible issue, have a list of folks, not taking under your will available that can attest to that fact.
Jr. Member
May 28, 2012
182 posts
98 upvotes
ONT
Very sorry to hear about your situation. Pick which you think are the best of the many suggestions made above.

When this thread slows down in a few days, print copies so relatives can see how you struggled with your decisions.
Deal Addict
Jul 3, 2017
3860 posts
2772 upvotes
It's good that you're thinking about this and seeking advice, even though I'm sure all of the RFD community, like myself, wishes the best for you and hopes you don't need this advice for a long time.

From what I have seen in other families, this situation can bring out the worst in people when there are significant assets to divide and there is any doubt or disagreement as to who deserves what. Thank goodness this hasn't happened in the case of deaths in my family, but even so I'm sure there were people a little disappointed that they didn't get anything. It seems to be worst if there any existing rifts in the family or friends which this stress will fracture, or when there are aggressive in-law spouses involved who push their significant others to stand up for themselves with less concern about family tranquility. If either of those situations applies to you, you might want to put some thought into how to prevent trouble ahead of time.

Obviously have a will drawn up professionally and registered. It's good to let everyone know your own wishes ahead of time so that nobody has unrealistic expectations, and nobody can seriously argue that your official will is not your true wishes. In some cases there might be some hurt feelings, but you can be gentle about it, explain your reasoning so that the parties understand, and in the end realize that you can't satisfy everybody. Another challenge, one you hope to have, is that you will need to update this in the future when circumstances change, and make sure there are no lingering mis-impressions based on an old will that no longer applies to current circumstances.

Your lawyer can explain some of the issues around transfer of property on your death, probate fees etc.. Often setting up your current affairs and your will correctly can avoid unnecessary delays, taxes, and fees in the event of your death. It's a tricky area of law.

Choice of your executor can take some thought too. You want someone you trust, and someone who has the capacity and patience to get through a long process. Being executor is a bit of a burden, so you might want to think hard about who to ask, and make sure they understand what it would involve. You may also need to name an alternate in case your first choice is unable to serve. You could even think about using a professional, but that's expensive and frankly not always trustworthy. Best if professional help is used only to assist a competent executor you trust.

A digital will is a good idea to let your executor know where all your accounts are and how to access them. It takes some work to keep it up to date, and you'll have to make some decisions about privacy concerning your personal stuff.
Member
Nov 25, 2003
432 posts
182 upvotes
BC [what me worry?]
Conquistador wrote: Death of family members is what really brings out the true character of people. It absolutely can get ugly.
If one hasn't grown up, you grow up in a hurry when a tragic event like this happens.

I don't have any advice to give you (I've been fortunate so far as I haven't had anybody close except a grandparent pass away) but hope for the best. You sound like a far better person than me (thinking of others instead of yourself in your situation. Peace.
I've been away for a while....
[OP]
Member
Aug 21, 2016
205 posts
86 upvotes
Thanks again for all the comments and kind thoughts. Hopefully things start looking up for me. I'll be taking a lot of the suggestions above except maybe spending it on myself, I want my family taken care of when I can't. Any more suggestions are appreciated.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
16236 posts
6377 upvotes
fern54 wrote: Thanks again for all the comments and kind thoughts. Hopefully things start looking up for me. I'll be taking a lot of the suggestions above except maybe spending it on myself, I want my family taken care of when I can't. Any more suggestions are appreciated.
I wish we had more caring people like yourself around. I'm sorry for whatever you are going through, from this thread alone you seem like an amazing and caring person.

My only advice would be to listen to your lawyer. You're going to need one to set this up and if you can find one with a lot of experience in estate planning they have likely encountered these exact scenarios before and can offer you both sides - the side of planning and the side of after the planning (when people fight).

Again, I hope things come around for you and you can pull through whatever it is. We need more people like yourself that actively try to better the lives of others, and actually care about how they go about it.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 3, 2005
3761 posts
287 upvotes
Georgetown
Sorry for your situation... as horrible as it is to deal with estate planning it is wise to get ahead of it.

If you think people will contest the will you should let your lawyer know and they may have advice for you. I know from a bad experience I had, that giving as much away ahead of time helps as that tends to not get tangled up in any legal wrangling. If you know the time is very close, you may want to give things away, made certain accounts joint, and possibly even sign over ownership, etc.... like I said... ask your lawyer.

If you don’t think they are likely to put up a legal fight and you just don’t want hard feelings against people you choose to leave things too... there isn’t much you can do about that unless you give those bits away beforehand so they aren’t called out in the estate - but the big stuff people would still figure out (ie. if you signed over your home beforehand)

Finally, make sure you record your wishes... in a will.... in a video... when talking to people... etc.... unless you feel that will just make people prep for a legal fight and then there is no point but to follow your lawyers advice to line things up.
Member
Jun 28, 2011
332 posts
83 upvotes
VANCOUVER
I'm sorry about your situation and your post is very touching.
I agree to get a lawyer on board to handle estate planning and discuss the troublesome family members. (sad to say that money does strange things to people)
And yes, a good idea to have a talk with the people you plan to leave your estate to and it is your money to do with what you want.
God Bless!
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 10, 2007
3175 posts
366 upvotes
CALGARY
Hi budd, sorry about the issues you are going through, hope Almighty will save you. IMO if if have a firm plan what you're going to do with what you have - please setup everything when you are alive. Like if you think you mom should get your house, you should have her be in the title of the house, and be joined tenants (one automatically inherits, if other passes) Same with your bank account and stuff. What this does, is saves the money that goes to the lawyer. You may want to discuss this with your family. All the best and hope you have many more years to live.
  • To overcome evil with good is good, to resist evil by evil is evil.
  • A sign of a person’s evil is his need to constantly argue.
Deal Addict
Dec 12, 2009
3767 posts
1517 upvotes
Toronto
Mrbj wrote: IMO if if have a firm plan what you're going to do with what you have - please setup everything when you are alive. Like if you think you mom should get your house, you should have her be in the title of the house, and be joined tenants (one automatically inherits, if other passes) Same with your bank account and stuff. What this does, is saves the money that goes to the lawyer. You may want to discuss this with your family.
Yes, as others have said creating a clearly defined will with a lawyer solves a lot of potential issues. Distributing what you can before and joint ownership/accounts should save on legal fees, probate fees and trustee fees.
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Jr. Member
Feb 22, 2017
106 posts
46 upvotes
What kinda health issue do you have op?
Deal Fanatic
Aug 21, 2007
5209 posts
322 upvotes
Markham
perhaps try and have things taken care of while alive...example legally gift the house to your cousin with the agreement (legally binding) that you can remain to live there rent free as long as you live.

i imagine beneficiaries fo life insurance could also be changed quite easily
Newbie
Oct 16, 2018
48 posts
48 upvotes
fern54 wrote: I've already tried to simplify by having all debts paid off and have no mortgage left on my home already. The only thing I can think of is final income taxes which should be minimal since I haven't been able to work this year. Can you think of anything else? I will be getting an estate lawyer to draft everything but I'm preparing myself for that step.
I'm very sorry to hear about your situation. I am very humbled to see how thorough you are being with this process at such a tough time for you.

There are two things here that you should try and delineate. "Hurt feelings", and subsequent "action. You are looking out for your family, and a will is a great way to make your wishes known. Are some relatives going to be jealous of your cousin or brother's windfall? Sure some may but you can't control this. As some other posters recommended, maybe speak to the beneficiaries of your specific gifts and estate ahead of time to ensure your wishes aren't widely communicated, if it can be helped.

You definitely want to speak with your service provider about being explicit about your house and the cash gift. Other than that, what you're trying to accomplish with regards to specific gifts and the distribution of your estate is straightforward. Like you highlighted, the emotions generally the tough thing to navigate. The best you can do is make your wishes clear and try your best to remove any questions about the soundness of your mind in your decision making at this very tough time for you. If you are at the beginning of your process with your lawyer, I would be very honoured to give you access to our online service at Om for free so you could use those documents as a basis for your continued conversation with your lawyer. My only hope is that it somehow saves you some money so you can do something special with your loved ones.

One last thing to remember. Review your beneficiaries for insurance and investment accounts. They may override your will.

With that said, I hope you won't think as much about the stressors to your family. You seem like such a strong and generous individual and I sincerely wish that your family has as much time with you as possible.

~om
Om Company
Temp. Banned
Apr 20, 2018
151 posts
71 upvotes
These are YOUR wishes as someone so aptly put it.

You will have passed therefore the "infighting" won't matter/affect you.

Take care of YOURSELF.

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