Question for those who have used will prep software

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scsiguru
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Question for those who have used will prep software

Post by scsiguru » Sun Oct 06, 2019 11:56 am

My wife and I need to do a will. We only have real estate (one home), 401K's, and cash. We have two adult children. We have one grandchild. We would like to leave 1/2 of our estate to both children, BUT we want our grandchild to receive 1/2 of our daughter's inheritance STRICTLY for college or higher education. Is this something that will prep software can do?

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Tamarind
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Re: Question for those who have used will prep software

Post by Tamarind » Sun Oct 06, 2019 12:05 pm

IANAL but I don't believe that the law permits this whether you are using will prep software or not.

If you want to guarantee your grandchild gets an amount for a purpose, you should place that amount in trust for the child, with the restrictions built into the trust.

If you give 1/2 to your daughter without a trust, it is then hers and you may not control how she uses it, how much she passes to her child, or what the child uses it for. You can only ask.

bsteiner
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Re: Question for those who have used will prep software

Post by bsteiner » Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:41 pm

We would do this on Microsoft Word.

You can provide whatever terms you want for your grandchild's trust.

You'll have to consider what happens if the grandchild doesn't go to college, or goes to college but doesn't use up the trust fund for college, or dies, or if you have another grandchild, or if a child dies.

afan
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Re: Question for those who have used will prep software

Post by afan » Mon Oct 07, 2019 9:44 am

And that is why you need an attorney as well as software. Someone who knows what they are doing can write the will manually. Someone who does not know what they are doing can use software to prepare a document without realizing that it does not do what they want.
We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama

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scsiguru
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Re: Question for those who have used will prep software

Post by scsiguru » Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:36 pm

Thanks everyone for your responses. I think it's best that we go to an attorney to get it done properly.

gd
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Re: Question for those who have used will prep software

Post by gd » Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:43 am

A more interesting version of these sorts of questions would be "Question for those whose deceased relatives have used Will prep software".

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Tamarind
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Re: Question for those who have used will prep software

Post by Tamarind » Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:47 am

gd wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:43 am
A more interesting version of these sorts of questions would be "Question for those whose deceased relatives have used Will prep software".
There are a couple of "inheritance nightmare" threads, but I don't know if will prep software has been around long enough to generate a lot of stories of its failures.

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scsiguru
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Re: Question for those who have used will prep software

Post by scsiguru » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:48 am

My wife and I are planning to move to another state w/in the next couple of years. If we get a will done by an attorney in our state will we have to start from scratch with another attorney in the new state?

misterjohnny
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Re: Question for those who have used will prep software

Post by misterjohnny » Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:22 pm

scsiguru wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:48 am
My wife and I are planning to move to another state w/in the next couple of years. If we get a will done by an attorney in our state will we have to start from scratch with another attorney in the new state?
Start from scratch? No, but you will want a lawyer from the new state to look over your current will to make sure it follows your new state's rules. Inheritance laws are state by state, but tend to be similar. Ask your current lawyer if he is licensed in the new state. Many lawyers have licenses in neighboring states.

afan
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Re: Question for those who have used will prep software

Post by afan » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:43 am

scsiguru wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:48 am
My wife and I are planning to move to another state w/in the next couple of years. If we get a will done by an attorney in our state will we have to start from scratch with another attorney in the new state?
You might tell the attorney who does your documents now that you are planning to move. Depending on the states you may be able to find someone who knows the laws of both states. Bsteiner, for example, knows the laws and does estate planning in a number of states.
Depending on those laws it might be possible to have the same plan work well for both. If one state has an estate tax and the other does not then you may need different provisions depending on your residence when you die.
We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama

gr7070
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Re: Question for those who have used will prep software

Post by gr7070 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:02 am

I'm a huge proponent of the will prep software, in simple situations!

I mentioned simple situations. If all you're doing is passing things to your spouse, then splitting everything evenly, passing most, simple assets through beneficiaries, etc. one does not need a lawyer for that! Use the programs! They're great.

However, as matters complicate things even I would likely not use a program. I would buy a book(s) on wills and another on trusts and ask a ton of questions here and elsewhere... And then hire a (good) lawyer.

Plenty of good lawyers out there; plenty of bad ones, too. Be careful... be smart.

misterjohnny
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Re: Question for those who have used will prep software

Post by misterjohnny » Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:22 pm

+1 for will prep software in simple situations.
First wife, young kids, small estate. Don't spend the money on a lawyer - yet.
Since you are a bogglehead, you will have more complicated estate later (more assets, don't want it all to go to the kids to spoil them) when you will need a lawyer.

In six months I will be visiting a lawyer, as I will have retired and we will want to change how things are divided. Plus will have 2 of 3 kids in college by then.

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