Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

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Conch55
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Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by Conch55 » Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:21 pm

Years ago I agreed to be executor of my fathers estate (wife deceased) and am seeking guidance on how to start preparing for that responsibility. His health is okay but I don’t want to wait until things worsen to fully understand my duties. He lives in Florida, I do not, and has prepared a will, a power of attorney, an advanced medical directive and written some personal instructions on how he wants things to be done. He holds a number of paper and electronic I bonds, several life insurance policies, a CD ladder, a taxable S&P index mutual fund, local bank account and owns a home outright. I am joint owner/signer on his bank and brokerage accounts. We have discussed how he wants personal possessions disbursed and his estate in general. I am looking for suggestions on what I can do now to best prepare for my role is this process when the time comes.

delamer
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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by delamer » Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:25 pm

A list of all his assets, where they are held, and their account numbers would be a good start. Ask him to update it annually.

Make sure all assets have the correct beneficiary designations.

Get a copy of the will and related materials.

aristotelian
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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by aristotelian » Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:29 pm

Sounds like you have done most of the essentials. Setting up as many of the assets as possible to be joint or TOD is probably the most important. It is possible you can avoid probate entirely. Check whatever is left in the estate against the Florida limits for probate. Sounds like the home is the biggest asset in question. Are you a joint owner on that as well?

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bengal22
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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by bengal22 » Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:30 pm

This is how I would do it. I would establish beneficiaries for all of my financial investments. I would set up TOD on car and house. I would prepay funeral. I would have it all set up so all assets transfer at the time of his passing. I would not contact a lawyer. I would avoid probate by not having any assets to probate. You will have to sell house unless you can get him to sell it before passing.
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dbr
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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by dbr » Mon Oct 21, 2019 4:21 pm

Are you really a joint owner on his brokerage and bank accounts? Be sure you are clear between joint and tenancy in common. Note if you really are a joint owner this property has already been given to you (in a sense) and neither beneficiaries or the will have anything to do with it.

Who are the heirs in this case. Be sure you all understand that joint ownership, and TOP/POD takes precedence over any will and may make intentions in the will not what someone thinks they are.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Mon Oct 21, 2019 4:38 pm

Powers of Attorney seem to have issues sometimes, as some financial institutions want their clients to use their forms, so you could get push-back. Best to know now before the need arises. Though, if you are already on the financial accounts, might not need them.

If you are far away from your father, will you be able to act as his surrogate for medical directives? Time could be very critical, just saying....

Although my wife is my medical surrogate, I am not hers. Reason being is I cannot be counted on to be at her side swiftly if needed. Instead, my daughter who works nearby was tapped for that duty.

I would suggest you start getting duplicate statements to keep an eye on things. I do that for my 529 accounts for our grandchildren, their mothers receive monthly statements to protect their 539 accounts if Papa starts getting silly, aka cognitive decline.

Hopefully your father lives for many more years.


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HomeStretch
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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by HomeStretch » Mon Oct 21, 2019 4:47 pm

In addition to suggestions above, a list of names/addresses/contact #’s for all estate beneficiaries and any advisors (attorney, accountant, etc.).

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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by RickBoglehead » Mon Oct 21, 2019 4:59 pm

dbr wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 4:21 pm
Are you really a joint owner on his brokerage and bank accounts? Be sure you are clear between joint and tenancy in common. Note if you really are a joint owner this property has already been given to you (in a sense) and neither beneficiaries or the will have anything to do with it.

Who are the heirs in this case. Be sure you all understand that joint ownership, and TOP/POD takes precedence over any will and may make intentions in the will not what someone thinks they are.
This ^^^
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billfromct
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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by billfromct » Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:14 pm

If there are large capital gains on the S&P 500 fund, you may want to have it under his name only because if it's joint tenancy, my understanding is only 1/2 of the cost basis will be adjusted to the date of death.

If you have the account set up to "transfer on death" the entire value of the mutual fund will be adjusted to the value at time of death.

bill

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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by cheese_breath » Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:18 pm

Contact the probate court in the jurisdiction where his estate might need to be probated. (Probate might not even be required if the estate is small enough.) They might have documented procedures for executors to help you through the process. The probate court where my MIL's will was did.
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dbr
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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by dbr » Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:32 pm

cheese_breath wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:18 pm
Contact the probate court in the jurisdiction where his estate might need to be probated. (Probate might not even be required if the estate is small enough.) They might have documented procedures for executors to help you through the process. The probate court where my MIL's will was did.
Correct. If the estate is small enough it won't be probated and you will not function as executor. Instead you can file an affidavit as personal representative to handle administrative issues. I have done that. I may be wrong but think maybe $15,000 was the estate limit in my state to not go to probate. The key was to have everything go out under trust or POD. The house would be the issue there.

sbaywriter
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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by sbaywriter » Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:48 pm

Florida does not have TOD for a house but they do have something called a "lady bird deed" which may be applicable in your case.

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Conch55
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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by Conch55 » Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:42 pm

Thanks for all of the informative comments. Contacting the county probate court seems like a good first step. The total estate value exceeds the numbers put out in this thread to avoid probate. House value is not as clear although it's appraised at 150k but the town is not thriving.

GuyInFL
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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by GuyInFL » Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:15 pm

TOD amounts pass outside of probate and don’t count toward value of estate

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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by BuddyJet » Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:24 pm

I was in a similar situation with my mom who passed in Florida about 20 years ago

If possible, talk with the attorney that drew will about charges to handle legal for estate and what you can do to minimize. Since you are out of state, you will need to post bond as executor but they aren’t expensive. I find nolo books and website helpful.

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia ... rview.html

You will need the past couple of years bank checks and credit card charges to do the final tax return. I think I had to do some sort of state estate return related to stock but I’m not sure.
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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by Kagord » Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:12 pm

GuyInFL wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:15 pm
TOD amounts pass outside of probate and don’t count toward value of estate
To clarify, I believe TOD is part of the estate for tax purposes, but, yes, avoids probate.

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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by GuyInFL » Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:36 pm

Great thread. Been reading the Nolo book on Estate Planning and they recommend placing the house in a Living Trust to avoid probate and expedite transfer of title.

Thoughts on that? How difficult is it to sell a house in probate?

123
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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by 123 » Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:08 am

GuyInFL wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:36 pm
Great thread. Been reading the Nolo book on Estate Planning and they recommend placing the house in a Living Trust to avoid probate and expedite transfer of title.

Thoughts on that? How difficult is it to sell a house in probate?
Some states permit transfer on death deeds for real estate or ladybird deeds (a similar process) that can diminish the need for a Living Trust if the primary reason for it is a home. Probate can make the sale of property take longer since the personal representative of the estate must be legally established through a court process in order to act on behalf of the estate and sell the house. The time required can vary from state to state.

If there are a small number of beneficaries and they get along a Living Trust may work very well to handle even a large estate. The key to success in the settlement of an estate is adequate and complete planning, whether it is to be addressed via a Living Trust or a probate mechanism.
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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by BuddyJet » Tue Oct 22, 2019 6:11 am

GuyInFL wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:36 pm
Great thread. Been reading the Nolo book on Estate Planning and they recommend placing the house in a Living Trust to avoid probate and expedite transfer of title.

Thoughts on that? How difficult is it to sell a house in probate?
While there are probate horror stories, I have done probate in Florida of a largish estate and in New Mexico of a small one that involved property. In both cases, once I had my executor paperwork, which didn’t take long, I could get a formal property appraisal and sell the property.

Selling the real estate was not a problem, dividing “sentimental “ items was in one case. In general, dealing with probate was easier than dealing with my family.

As many people fear and avoid probate, I have had many bad experiences with trusts and am hesitant to use them.
People say nothing is impossible. I do nothing all day.

sbaywriter
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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by sbaywriter » Tue Oct 22, 2019 6:42 am

Regarding the house, another thing to be considered is long-term incapacity versus death. I would check with the lawyer that the financial POA gives the authority to sell the real estate, if it is not under a lady bird deed or trust.

eukonomos
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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by eukonomos » Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:40 am

Contact info for friends and any others who ought to be notified of death and any memorial service.

Understand his wishes for memorial service and disposition of remains.

Do you, or will you, have access to his prior tax returns and records?

Do a search for any unclaimed property. Although you can deal with that as executor, why not do it now?

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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by Hockey10 » Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:26 am

See the attached list that Taylor created:

viewtopic.php?t=198919

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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by bengal22 » Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:36 am

BuddyJet wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 6:11 am
GuyInFL wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:36 pm
Great thread. Been reading the Nolo book on Estate Planning and they recommend placing the house in a Living Trust to avoid probate and expedite transfer of title.

Thoughts on that? How difficult is it to sell a house in probate?
While there are probate horror stories, I have done probate in Florida of a largish estate and in New Mexico of a small one that involved property. In both cases, once I had my executor paperwork, which didn’t take long, I could get a formal property appraisal and sell the property.

Selling the real estate was not a problem, dividing “sentimental “ items was in one case. In general, dealing with probate was easier than dealing with my family.

As many people fear and avoid probate, I have had many bad experiences with trusts and am hesitant to use them.
I believe that you can avoid probate and trusts by setting everything up with beneficiaries and POD/TOD. Why pay a lawyer to fill out 15 easy forms
"Earn All You Can; Give All You Can; Save All You Can." .... John Wesley

BuddyJet
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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by BuddyJet » Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:33 pm

bengal22 wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:36 am
BuddyJet wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 6:11 am
GuyInFL wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:36 pm
Great thread. Been reading the Nolo book on Estate Planning and they recommend placing the house in a Living Trust to avoid probate and expedite transfer of title.

Thoughts on that? How difficult is it to sell a house in probate?
While there are probate horror stories, I have done probate in Florida of a largish estate and in New Mexico of a small one that involved property. In both cases, once I had my executor paperwork, which didn’t take long, I could get a formal property appraisal and sell the property.

Selling the real estate was not a problem, dividing “sentimental “ items was in one case. In general, dealing with probate was easier than dealing with my family.

As many people fear and avoid probate, I have had many bad experiences with trusts and am hesitant to use them.
I believe that you can avoid probate and trusts by setting everything up with beneficiaries and POD/TOD. Why pay a lawyer to fill out 15 easy forms
The OP complications that point towards the utility of a lawyer and need for trust/probate are real estate and the executor living outside Florida.
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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by bengal22 » Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:29 pm

BuddyJet wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:33 pm
bengal22 wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:36 am
BuddyJet wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 6:11 am
GuyInFL wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:36 pm
Great thread. Been reading the Nolo book on Estate Planning and they recommend placing the house in a Living Trust to avoid probate and expedite transfer of title.

Thoughts on that? How difficult is it to sell a house in probate?
While there are probate horror stories, I have done probate in Florida of a largish estate and in New Mexico of a small one that involved property. In both cases, once I had my executor paperwork, which didn’t take long, I could get a formal property appraisal and sell the property.

Selling the real estate was not a problem, dividing “sentimental “ items was in one case. In general, dealing with probate was easier than dealing with my family.

As many people fear and avoid probate, I have had many bad experiences with trusts and am hesitant to use them.
I believe that you can avoid probate and trusts by setting everything up with beneficiaries and POD/TOD. Why pay a lawyer to fill out 15 easy forms
The OP complications that point towards the utility of a lawyer and need for trust/probate are real estate and the executor living outside Florida.
I believe there are ways around real estate if it is father's personal dwelling. Other than an inconvenience, I do not see where being out of state means you have to have a lawyer. Of course, what we don't know is how many other siblings OP has or how many people father wants to have inherit his assets. That and contentious family members could make things tougher. I am just opposed to turning things over to lawyers without investigating whether you can easily do it yourself. There is a definite mystique fabricated about the handling of estates and that has created a whole industry around helping you distribute your money for a hefty fee.
"Earn All You Can; Give All You Can; Save All You Can." .... John Wesley

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BL
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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by BL » Tue Oct 22, 2019 2:52 pm

Consider asking the bank if they would easily let you cash in paper I bonds. I have been gradually selling off I-bonds because I read here that it is troublesome for heirs to work through the website to cash them in. I might have second thoughts if they were guaranteed 4% or so older ones.

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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by bsteiner » Tue Oct 22, 2019 6:52 pm

BuddyJet wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 6:11 am
...
While there are probate horror stories, I have done probate in Florida of a largish estate and in New Mexico of a small one that involved property. In both cases, once I had my executor paperwork, which didn’t take long, I could get a formal property appraisal and sell the property.

Selling the real estate was not a problem, dividing “sentimental “ items was in one case. In general, dealing with probate was easier than dealing with my family.

As many people fear and avoid probate, I have had many bad experiences with trusts and am hesitant to use them.
Probating a Will is Florida is generally not difficult, expensive or burdensome. We probate lots of Wills throughout Florida.

Probating the Will is usually a small part of the work involved in administering an estate. It involves filling out some forms and filing them with the court together with the original Will, a death certificate, and the filing fee (about $400 in Florida). As you point out, dividing the tangibles is often the more difficult task. Why are people even discussing probating the Will? That's a distraction from more important issues in estate planning.

Unless the amount involved is too small to warrant administering trusts, he should provide for his children (in his Will) in trust rather than outright. If appropriate, each child can effectively control his/her own trust.

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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by Dottie57 » Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:34 pm

bengal22 wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:36 am
BuddyJet wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 6:11 am
GuyInFL wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:36 pm
Great thread. Been reading the Nolo book on Estate Planning and they recommend placing the house in a Living Trust to avoid probate and expedite transfer of title.

Thoughts on that? How difficult is it to sell a house in probate?
While there are probate horror stories, I have done probate in Florida of a largish estate and in New Mexico of a small one that involved property. In both cases, once I had my executor paperwork, which didn’t take long, I could get a formal property appraisal and sell the property.

Selling the real estate was not a problem, dividing “sentimental “ items was in one case. In general, dealing with probate was easier than dealing with my family.

As many people fear and avoid probate, I have had many bad experiences with trusts and am hesitant to use them.
I believe that you can avoid probate and trusts by setting everything up with beneficiaries and POD/TOD. Why pay a lawyer to fill out 15 easy forms
If everthing is set up with TOD OR POD, then how are the deceased person’s bills paid?

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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by bengal22 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:48 am

From my experience, credit card and medical bills are not owed after someone dies. In an earlier reply I recommended prepaying funeral expenses. If siblings get a long then any other expenses could be split among those inheriting funds. If not then OP could set up a joint checking account with DAD to cover post death expenses.
"Earn All You Can; Give All You Can; Save All You Can." .... John Wesley

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tadamsmar
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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by tadamsmar » Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:41 am

This is the information that I can find on probate on a Florida government site:

https://www.flcourts.org/Resources-Serv ... on/Probate

If you search for clerk of court in the relevant Florida county, you should find more. There is much more information on the process at the Citrus country clerk of court website where my MIL lives.

Not sure you can or should seek to completely avoid all probate proceedings.
Last edited by tadamsmar on Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:53 am, edited 3 times in total.

Bobby206
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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by Bobby206 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:50 am

I would suggest a living trust. Even in Florida probate can cost thousands and takes time. Trusts are cheaper, quicker and much easier.

LSLover
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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by LSLover » Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:43 pm

bsteiner wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 6:52 pm

Probating a Will is Florida is generally not difficult, expensive or burdensome. We probate lots of Wills throughout Florida.

Probating the Will is usually a small part of the work involved in administering an estate. It involves filling out some forms and filing them with the court together with the original Will, a death certificate, and the filing fee (about $400 in Florida). As you point out, dividing the tangibles is often the more difficult task. Why are people even discussing probating the Will? That's a distraction from more important issues in estate planning.

Unless the amount involved is too small to warrant administering trusts, he should provide for his children (in his Will) in trust rather than outright. If appropriate, each child can effectively control his/her own trust.
I keep reading about the issues related to a Power of Attorney (some banks resist accepting them, for instance) and as an alternative to that, some attorneys recommend creating trusts to avoid any problems related to dealing with the banks during incapacity.

Bsteiner, what is your take on the frequently voiced argument that it’s better to create a living trust (as opposed to a trust in the will) that will facilitate the above-mentioned incapacity issues (and avoid the probate, to boot)?

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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by bsteiner » Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:53 pm

LSLover wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:43 pm

Bsteiner, what is your take on the frequently voiced argument that it’s better to create a living trust (as opposed to a trust in the will) that will facilitate the above-mentioned incapacity issues (and avoid the probate, to boot)?
I would think that would happen less often in Florida since the Florida statute allows the agent to recover his/her legal fees from the bank if he/she has to bring a proceeding to compel the bank to honor the power of attorney.

To be safe, it's a good idea to give the banks copies of the power of attorney in advance so if one of them prefers to have it on their form, you have time to do one on their form.

LSLover
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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by LSLover » Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:59 pm

bsteiner wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:53 pm
LSLover wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:43 pm

Bsteiner, what is your take on the frequently voiced argument that it’s better to create a living trust (as opposed to a trust in the will) that will facilitate the above-mentioned incapacity issues (and avoid the probate, to boot)?
I would think that would happen less often in Florida since the Florida statute allows the agent to recover his/her legal fees from the bank if he/she has to bring a proceeding to compel the bank to honor the power of attorney.

To be safe, it's a good idea to give the banks copies of the power of attorney in advance so if one of them prefers to have it on their form, you have time to do one on their form.
I understand about the POA and the banks. But what is the advantage of a trust in the Will as compared to a trust “outside” of the Will? I noticed that you invariably recommended a trust in the Will and I am struggling to understand the advantages of such setup.

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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Wed Oct 23, 2019 1:45 pm

Conch55 wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:42 pm
Thanks for all of the informative comments. Contacting the county probate court seems like a good first step. The total estate value exceeds the numbers put out in this thread to avoid probate. House value is not as clear although it's appraised at 150k but the town is not thriving.
Do you expect to have co-inheritors of the house? If it's just you, you can do what you want. But if the house is being left to 2 or more people, and those people are not in perfect agreement about when and how to sell it, there will be conflict. If it is left to the estate, the executor has a lot of discretion on that subject - how fast to clean it out, how much to fix it up, what price to ask and accept.

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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by bayview » Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:00 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:34 pm
bengal22 wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:36 am
BuddyJet wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 6:11 am
GuyInFL wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:36 pm
Great thread. Been reading the Nolo book on Estate Planning and they recommend placing the house in a Living Trust to avoid probate and expedite transfer of title.

Thoughts on that? How difficult is it to sell a house in probate?
While there are probate horror stories, I have done probate in Florida of a largish estate and in New Mexico of a small one that involved property. In both cases, once I had my executor paperwork, which didn’t take long, I could get a formal property appraisal and sell the property.

Selling the real estate was not a problem, dividing “sentimental “ items was in one case. In general, dealing with probate was easier than dealing with my family.

As many people fear and avoid probate, I have had many bad experiences with trusts and am hesitant to use them.
I believe that you can avoid probate and trusts by setting everything up with beneficiaries and POD/TOD. Why pay a lawyer to fill out 15 easy forms
If everthing is set up with TOD OR POD, then how are the deceased person’s bills paid?
OP can pay them out of the TOD'd accounts, if s/he is the only heir involved.
The continuous execution of a sound strategy gives you the benefit of the strategy. That's what it's all about. --Rick Ferri

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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by bsteiner » Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:28 pm

LSLover wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:59 pm
...
I understand about the POA and the banks. But what is the advantage of a trust in the Will as compared to a trust “outside” of the Will? I noticed that you invariably recommended a trust in the Will and I am struggling to understand the advantages of such setup.
I'll create the trusts for the beneficiaries under a separate trust instrument if there's a reason to do so in a given case. Sometimes there is, usually there isn't.

IowaFarmBoy
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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by IowaFarmBoy » Thu Oct 24, 2019 4:50 am

Look for things that your parent may have forgotten to mention.....

When my MIL passed away a few years ago, she did a good job of communicating things that she thought about and/or understood were important. Most things transferred by either a beneficiary designation or a TOD. But there were a few smallish things she probably forgot about or procrastinated about dealing with and these things caused the most work/grief in handling the estate.

Examples:
  • She made one special bequest in her will but with everything transferring via beneficiary designations/TOD, it didn't look like there would be enough money in the estate to cover this bequest. We discovered this early on and she was able to change a TOD to make it it work. It turns out there was an unexpected refund in her estate to cover it but we didn't know that was coming at the time.
  • She had a small life insurance policy she had purchased 60 years before that still had her brothers as beneficiaries (one was dead) that she didn't mention. We think she would have wanted this to go to her children but it went to the surviving brother and he did something classy- he gave it to a scholarship fund at the high school in their small hometown. We think she either forgot to update the beneficiaries or that she made a change but it was lost by the insurance company as the policy went through several changes in company due to insurance companies being bought or sold. She didn't mention this policy. Afterwards, I noticed that her checking account had monthly draft of $1.50 for this policy and that she had listed it at one point when working on their trust. She also had the physical policy. So going through her checking statements and/or her safety deposit box might have led to its discovery in time to ask her about her intentions for a beneficiary and change it if needed.
  • We found several savings bonds in her safety deposit box that were titled to a trust that they had set up 30 years before but no longer used after inheritance laws changed. This was a real pain to figure out how to cash but we eventually got it done. If we had looked in the safety deposit box earlier, I think it would have been easier to resolve while she was alive.
  • We also found several savings bonds with one of our daughters as the beneficiary but there were none for our other daughter. This could lead to hard feelings so my wife gave enough money to the second daughter to make them equal.
So my advice would be to quiz your parents (if they are able) about anything they may not have mentioned. If you can get access to their safety deposit box and records, it might be good to look through to see if there is anything they may have forgotten.

LSLover
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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by LSLover » Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:49 am

bsteiner wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:28 pm
LSLover wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:59 pm
...
I understand about the POA and the banks. But what is the advantage of a trust in the Will as compared to a trust “outside” of the Will? I noticed that you invariably recommended a trust in the Will and I am struggling to understand the advantages of such setup.
I'll create the trusts for the beneficiaries under a separate trust instrument if there's a reason to do so in a given case. Sometimes there is, usually there isn't.
Do I understand your statement above correctly, in that if there is only one beneficiary then there is generally no need to create a trust in a Will (as opposed to outside of the Will)?

bsteiner
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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by bsteiner » Thu Oct 24, 2019 3:12 pm

LSLover wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:49 am
bsteiner wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:28 pm
LSLover wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:59 pm
...
I understand about the POA and the banks. But what is the advantage of a trust in the Will as compared to a trust “outside” of the Will? I noticed that you invariably recommended a trust in the Will and I am struggling to understand the advantages of such setup.
I'll create the trusts for the beneficiaries under a separate trust instrument if there's a reason to do so in a given case. Sometimes there is, usually there isn't.
Do I understand your statement above correctly, in that if there is only one beneficiary then there is generally no need to create a trust in a Will (as opposed to outside of the Will)?
No. I don't think there's any correlation between the number of beneficiaries and whether there's a reason to create a separate trust instrument in a given case.

Topic Author
Conch55
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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by Conch55 » Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:28 pm

Once again thanks for all the suggestions. To make this more actionable, any recommendations for future reading? I have checked out a copy from the local library of The Executor's Guide Settling a Loved One's Estate or Trust, author: Mary Randolph and am working through it.

bltn
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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by bltn » Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:59 pm

billfromct wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:14 pm
If there are large capital gains on the S&P 500 fund, you may want to have it under his name only because if it's joint tenancy, my understanding is only 1/2 of the cost basis will be adjusted to the date of death.

If you have the account set up to "transfer on death" the entire value of the mutual fund will be adjusted to the value at time of death.

bill
Excellent point.

bsteiner
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Location: NYC/NJ/FL

Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by bsteiner » Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:33 pm

bltn wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:59 pm
billfromct wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:14 pm
If there are large capital gains on the S&P 500 fund, you may want to have it under his name only because if it's joint tenancy, my understanding is only 1/2 of the cost basis will be adjusted to the date of death.

If you have the account set up to "transfer on death" the entire value of the mutual fund will be adjusted to the value at time of death.
Excellent point.
It’s not a tax issue. If it’s his money it’s in his estate for estate tax purposes and gets a new basis in any case. But joint accounts and TOD can create lots of other problems.
Last edited by bsteiner on Fri Oct 25, 2019 6:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

Topic Author
Conch55
Posts: 270
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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by Conch55 » Fri Oct 25, 2019 4:39 am

It’s not a tax issue. If it’s his money it’s in his estate and gets a new basis in any case. But joint accounts and TOD can create lots of other problems.

So is it preferable to not be a joint owner on an account, such as CD's at a bank, if the intent is for the money to go into the estate and be passed equally to heirs?

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plannerman
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Location: NC Mountains

Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by plannerman » Fri Oct 25, 2019 6:01 am

Conch55 wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:28 pm
Once again thanks for all the suggestions. To make this more actionable, any recommendations for future reading? I have checked out a copy from the local library of The Executor's Guide Settling a Loved One's Estate or Trust, author: Mary Randolph and am working through it.
Don't know about FL, but the NC Administrative Office of the Courts has prepared several helpful brochures to aid in estate administration. Google is your friend. After all, estate administration is usually a fairly routine process.

Here's one publication that might be of general interest.

https://www.nccourts.gov/assets/documen ... 1aWnKA7nNK

Plannerman

dbr
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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by dbr » Fri Oct 25, 2019 7:17 am

Conch55 wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 4:39 am
It’s not a tax issue. If it’s his money it’s in his estate and gets a new basis in any case. But joint accounts and TOD can create lots of other problems.

So is it preferable to not be a joint owner on an account, such as CD's at a bank, if the intent is for the money to go into the estate and be passed equally to heirs?
You can have POA over an account which allows you to see the account and do things for the benefit of the owner without being a joint owner. Once you become joint owner everything in the account is already yours before the person has even died, which is exactly the opposite of letting the money go into the estate or to anyone else. I think this goes beyond issues of what is preferable to a point of being dead wrong if the intent is as you say. TOD has the problem that TOD supercedes any will and may not be what was intended. Sometimes a will is changed and all the TOD beneficiary designations are forgotten and are not what is now wanted. Etc. On the other hand if what is wanted is clear and simple TOD would work pretty well.

delamer
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Re: Executor for parent in Florida seeking guidance

Post by delamer » Fri Oct 25, 2019 12:50 pm

dbr wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 7:17 am
Conch55 wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 4:39 am
It’s not a tax issue. If it’s his money it’s in his estate and gets a new basis in any case. But joint accounts and TOD can create lots of other problems.

So is it preferable to not be a joint owner on an account, such as CD's at a bank, if the intent is for the money to go into the estate and be passed equally to heirs?
You can have POA over an account which allows you to see the account and do things for the benefit of the owner without being a joint owner. Once you become joint owner everything in the account is already yours before the person has even died, which is exactly the opposite of letting the money go into the estate or to anyone else. I think this goes beyond issues of what is preferable to a point of being dead wrong if the intent is as you say. TOD has the problem that TOD supercedes any will and may not be what was intended. Sometimes a will is changed and all the TOD beneficiary designations are forgotten and are not what is now wanted. Etc. On the other hand if what is wanted is clear and simple TOD would work pretty well.
Excellent points.

I wanted to add that when my husband and I rewrote our wills, our attorney filled out and had us sign the paperwork for each account’s beneficiary designation so that the beneficiaries reflected the intent of the will. Then we mailed in the paperwork for each account.

I am certain that he realized that relying on his clients to get the paperwork completed and done correctly (in sync with their wills) was sometimes not happening, which was thwarting their intent.

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