Does my Wife Need a Will?

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Jon_PassiveInvestor
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Does my Wife Need a Will?

Post by Jon_PassiveInvestor » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:44 am

We are married with one child and co-own all assets including our home and vehicle. I have a will but does she need one? She does not have assets in her name only except Roth-IRA investments.

oldfatguy
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Re: Does my Wife Need a Will?

Post by oldfatguy » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:45 am

Jon_PassiveInvestor wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:44 am
We are married with one child and co-own all assets including our home and vehicle. I have a will but does she need one? She does not have assets in her name only except Roth-IRA investments.
yes - in both of your wills you need to designate what will happen if you both die while your child is still a minor.

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Jon_PassiveInvestor
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Re: Does my Wife Need a Will?

Post by Jon_PassiveInvestor » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:47 am

oldfatguy wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:45 am
Jon_PassiveInvestor wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:44 am
We are married with one child and co-own all assets including our home and vehicle. I have a will but does she need one? She does not have assets in her name only except Roth-IRA investments.
yes - in both of your wills you need to designate what will happen if you both die while your child is still a minor.
Wouldn't that be repetitious though? it would be all the same content.

oldfatguy
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Re: Does my Wife Need a Will?

Post by oldfatguy » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:50 am

Jon_PassiveInvestor wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:47 am
oldfatguy wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:45 am
Jon_PassiveInvestor wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:44 am
We are married with one child and co-own all assets including our home and vehicle. I have a will but does she need one? She does not have assets in her name only except Roth-IRA investments.
yes - in both of your wills you need to designate what will happen if you both die while your child is still a minor.
Wouldn't that be repetitious though? it would be all the same content.
Once you die, your will isn't relevant anymore. It does not dictate what happens when your wife dies.

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Jon_PassiveInvestor
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Re: Does my Wife Need a Will?

Post by Jon_PassiveInvestor » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:55 am

oldfatguy wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:50 am
Jon_PassiveInvestor wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:47 am
oldfatguy wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:45 am
Jon_PassiveInvestor wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:44 am
We are married with one child and co-own all assets including our home and vehicle. I have a will but does she need one? She does not have assets in her name only except Roth-IRA investments.
yes - in both of your wills you need to designate what will happen if you both die while your child is still a minor.
Wouldn't that be repetitious though? it would be all the same content.
Once you die, your will isn't relevant anymore. It does not dictate what happens when your wife dies.
OK so I'll get one written for her with same designations and make her assets flow to me at her death. I'm trying to keep things as simple as possible. Am I missing anything?

stan1
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Re: Does my Wife Need a Will?

Post by stan1 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:58 am

Should be a package that covers these situations:
You die, she survives
She dies, you survive
You both die at or about the same time

Topic Author
Jon_PassiveInvestor
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Re: Does my Wife Need a Will?

Post by Jon_PassiveInvestor » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:59 am

stan1 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:58 am
Should be a package that covers these situations:
You die, she survives
She dies, you survive
You both die at or about the same time
What do you mean by "package"? I'm using Nolo Willmaker.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Does my Wife Need a Will?

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:01 pm

Jon_PassiveInvestor wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:55 am
oldfatguy wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:50 am
Jon_PassiveInvestor wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:47 am
oldfatguy wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:45 am
Jon_PassiveInvestor wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:44 am
We are married with one child and co-own all assets including our home and vehicle. I have a will but does she need one? She does not have assets in her name only except Roth-IRA investments.
yes - in both of your wills you need to designate what will happen if you both die while your child is still a minor.
Wouldn't that be repetitious though? it would be all the same content.
Once you die, your will isn't relevant anymore. It does not dictate what happens when your wife dies.
OK so I'll get one written for her with same designations and make her assets flow to me at her death. I'm trying to keep things as simple as possible. Am I missing anything?
Yes, you're missing that you're not a lawyer. Are you sure that Nolo Willmaker is covering the legal issues that may arise, and are specific to your state if necessary?

Explain your situation to a lawyer, and have him review the asset ownership as well as the child's existence. If you and your wife go at the same time, does the child get all the funds? Does it go to a trust?

Our her retirement assets, and yours, setup as POD or are you going to let the wills handle that.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

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Jon_PassiveInvestor
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Re: Does my Wife Need a Will?

Post by Jon_PassiveInvestor » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:03 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:01 pm
Jon_PassiveInvestor wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:55 am
oldfatguy wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:50 am
Jon_PassiveInvestor wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:47 am
oldfatguy wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:45 am


yes - in both of your wills you need to designate what will happen if you both die while your child is still a minor.
Wouldn't that be repetitious though? it would be all the same content.
Once you die, your will isn't relevant anymore. It does not dictate what happens when your wife dies.
OK so I'll get one written for her with same designations and make her assets flow to me at her death. I'm trying to keep things as simple as possible. Am I missing anything?
Yes, you're missing that you're not a lawyer. Are you sure that Nolo Willmaker is covering the legal issues that may arise, and are specific to your state if necessary?

Explain your situation to a lawyer, and have him review the asset ownership as well as the child's existence. If you and your wife go at the same time, does the child get all the funds? Does it go to a trust?

Our her retirement assets, and yours, setup as POD or are you going to let the wills handle that.
Yes, WillMaker takes care of all that. If we both die, the assets go into UTMA until the age of 21 and managed by my chosen custodian.

stan1
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Re: Does my Wife Need a Will?

Post by stan1 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:05 pm

Jon_PassiveInvestor wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:59 am
stan1 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:58 am
Should be a package that covers these situations:
You die, she survives
She dies, you survive
You both die at or about the same time
What do you mean by "package"? I'm using Nolo Willmaker.
Depending on your needs and state of residence. In my state package might be a family trust that a house would be transferred into, 2 wills, 2 financial power of attorney, 2 health care directives, and 2 HIPAA authorizations. The names of the documents and details can vary by state.

Topic Author
Jon_PassiveInvestor
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Re: Does my Wife Need a Will?

Post by Jon_PassiveInvestor » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:06 pm

stan1 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:05 pm
Jon_PassiveInvestor wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:59 am
stan1 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:58 am
Should be a package that covers these situations:
You die, she survives
She dies, you survive
You both die at or about the same time
What do you mean by "package"? I'm using Nolo Willmaker.
Depending on your needs and state of residence. In my state package might be a family trust that a house would be transferred into, 2 wills, 2 financial power of attorney, 2 health care directives, and 2 HIPAA authorizations. The names of the documents and details can vary by state.
Yes, I'm in Texas.

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Re: Does my Wife Need a Will?

Post by oldcomputerguy » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:12 pm

This topic is now in the Personal Finance forum (legal issues that have a financial component like wills and pre-nuptial agreements).
"I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people; and if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you." (Aaron Sorkin)

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Re: Does my Wife Need a Will?

Post by cadreamer2015 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:20 pm

Perhaps at least as important as a will are the other documents in the "package" referred to earlier: Power of Attorney, Advance Directive for Medical Decisions, etc. Although a low probability event, what happens if your wife is in a coma or otherwise unable to make financial / legal decisions? What happens if you are both incapacitated for an extended period of time? Who has legal authority to make decisions and take actions on your behalf?
De gustibus non est disputandum

livesoft
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Re: Does my Wife Need a Will?

Post by livesoft » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:20 pm

You both die, but your child survives. What happens to your money? Who becomes the guardian? Do they also control the money for the child or does somebody else? Does everybody get along?

Our wills were set up so that my spouse's sister would be guardian, but my sister would manage the money. We are fortunate that both sisters are wealthier than us and are great people and get along well with each other. But our children are adults now. Fortunately, they are great people, too, and get along well with each other and their aunts. Also fortunate is that our nieces and nephews are all adults now, too, so we won't be guardians for any of them.
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dm200
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Re: Does my Wife Need a Will?

Post by dm200 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:38 pm

Jon_PassiveInvestor wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:44 am
We are married with one child and co-own all assets including our home and vehicle. I have a will but does she need one? She does not have assets in her name only except Roth-IRA investments.
Yes - remember that if someone has not created a will - the state has one for you - and you might not like what it provides.

If you die, then she, would get sole ownership the biggest part of your assets.

I suggest (as my wife and I have done) you each have wills that are mirror images of each other. Discuss with an attorney, but when our son was young, we had complex, disclaimer wills with testamentary trusts drafted for each of us. The testamentary trust would have handled the funds from our estates while our son was a minor - and for 10-15 years after - parceling out a chunk of money every five years until he reached a certain age.

Now, he is long past that age - so the testamentary trusts would not be created.

Your estate documents should be drafted such that the end result is the same (no matter who dies first) if you each die within a short period of time - perhaps weeks or months.

Another reason for her having a will is if she dies (in an auto accident, for example) where her estate is awarded a significant amount of money as a result of a lawsuit or insurance payments.

My wife and I have had three sets of wills done since we have been married. In all cases, we had two wills - one for each of us. I suspect that getting both, nearly identical, wills drafted at the same time should cost less than double the cost of just one.

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Watty
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Re: Does my Wife Need a Will?

Post by Watty » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:42 pm

oldfatguy wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:45 am
Jon_PassiveInvestor wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:44 am
We are married with one child and co-own all assets including our home and vehicle. I have a will but does she need one? She does not have assets in her name only except Roth-IRA investments.
yes - in both of your wills you need to designate what will happen if you both die while your child is still a minor.
+1

Things can happen like you are in a car accident where you are killed instantly and she is hurt badly then dies a month later.

It would be a mess as to who would get custody of your kind and who would manage your money. There could be a huge lawsuit if the accident was someone else's fault.

It was about elderly people but I read an article recently about how there are lawyers in my state that try to find situations where someone could not manage their money so they would go in and try to get a court to appoint the sleazy lawyer to take over their financial affairs. In some cases they would try to do this even when there was a relative managing their affairs but they did not have the right paperwork. They would of course charge all sorts of high fees and expenses. Without both of you having a will some state appointed lawyer could end up managing your kids inheritance.

There have been lots of threads about wills that you can look up. With a minor kid I would be cautious about using will software to do it yourself. We used Legal Zoom to make new wills a few years ago and it includes a telephone conference call with a lawyer to go over your wills that created after going through online questionnaires. The lawyer double checked that we understood the details about out choices and also asked some followup questions. We have a grown kid so out situation was simpler but I still felt better about having talked to the lawyer as part of the process. My impression was that it was just as good for us as going to a local budget lawyer.

Also make sure that someone like a sibling knows where your will and the related paperwork is.

Whatever you do along with the wills there will also be a bundle of related forms for things like medical directives and power of attorney documents that may be just as important for you as the will itself.

Also be sure that someone has the right paperwork to take charge of your kid if you are incapacitated. For example if you are in a car accident and someone like one of your siblings tries to pick you kid up at daycare they may not release the kid to them without the right paperwork.

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dm200
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Re: Does my Wife Need a Will?

Post by dm200 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:55 pm

livesoft wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:20 pm
You both die, but your child survives. What happens to your money? Who becomes the guardian? Do they also control the money for the child or does somebody else? Does everybody get along?
Our wills were set up so that my spouse's sister would be guardian, but my sister would manage the money. We are fortunate that both sisters are wealthier than us and are great people and get along well with each other. But our children are adults now. Fortunately, they are great people, too, and get along well with each other and their aunts. Also fortunate is that our nieces and nephews are all adults now, too, so we won't be guardians for any of them.
It was, and still is, my understanding that designating a guardian for your minor children in your wills is not, necessarily, binding. I believe that would be up to a judge - BUT I believe it would still carry considerable weight. There are many valid reasons to separate the designated guardian of the child(ren) and the person who manages the money. On the other hand, depending on details, the type of folks the guardians are, etc. - it could be much simpler to have them be the same folks.

In our case, when our son was still a minor, there were no 100% clearcut family members for us to designate/request as his guardians. There were two likely candidates: either my brother and his wife OR my wife's sister and her husband. There were several pros and cons for both -- and a lot would depend on where each family was in their lives. So, we did not put guardianship in our estate plan - but a bunch of money would have been in the testamentary trusts. We did not even discuss guardianship of our son (if we both died) with the two top candidates. So, if we had both died, then the remaining family members at that time on both sides would have needed to work things out.

We decided to not discuss guardianship with the two most likely "candidates" because it would have stirred up some family issues unnecessarily. Fortunately, my wife and I did not die.

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Jon_PassiveInvestor
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Re: Does my Wife Need a Will?

Post by Jon_PassiveInvestor » Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:08 pm

livesoft wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:20 pm
You both die, but your child survives. What happens to your money? Who becomes the guardian? Do they also control the money for the child or does somebody else? Does everybody get along?

Our wills were set up so that my spouse's sister would be guardian, but my sister would manage the money. We are fortunate that both sisters are wealthier than us and are great people and get along well with each other. But our children are adults now. Fortunately, they are great people, too, and get along well with each other and their aunts. Also fortunate is that our nieces and nephews are all adults now, too, so we won't be guardians for any of them.
Yes the money goes into a trust until our son is 21. It will he managed by my father until that age.

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Re: Does my Wife Need a Will?

Post by Dottie57 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:13 pm

Having a will and assiciated documents was some of the best mney I have spent. A good lawyer will interview you, poke you and pull out concerns you never thought you had. Money well spent. Do it the right way with a knowledgable attorney IN YOUR STATE.

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Re: Does my Wife Need a Will?

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:16 pm

Jon_PassiveInvestor wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:08 pm
livesoft wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:20 pm
You both die, but your child survives. What happens to your money? Who becomes the guardian? Do they also control the money for the child or does somebody else? Does everybody get along?

Our wills were set up so that my spouse's sister would be guardian, but my sister would manage the money. We are fortunate that both sisters are wealthier than us and are great people and get along well with each other. But our children are adults now. Fortunately, they are great people, too, and get along well with each other and their aunts. Also fortunate is that our nieces and nephews are all adults now, too, so we won't be guardians for any of them.
Yes the money goes into a trust until our son is 21. It will he managed by my father until that age.
What happens if your father passes away? You always want a successor in these documents.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

Topic Author
Jon_PassiveInvestor
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Re: Does my Wife Need a Will?

Post by Jon_PassiveInvestor » Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:18 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:16 pm
Jon_PassiveInvestor wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:08 pm
livesoft wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:20 pm
You both die, but your child survives. What happens to your money? Who becomes the guardian? Do they also control the money for the child or does somebody else? Does everybody get along?

Our wills were set up so that my spouse's sister would be guardian, but my sister would manage the money. We are fortunate that both sisters are wealthier than us and are great people and get along well with each other. But our children are adults now. Fortunately, they are great people, too, and get along well with each other and their aunts. Also fortunate is that our nieces and nephews are all adults now, too, so we won't be guardians for any of them.
Yes the money goes into a trust until our son is 21. It will he managed by my father until that age.
What happens if your father passes away? You always want a successor in these documents.
Yes I have two alternates setup.

MathWizard
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Re: Does my Wife Need a Will?

Post by MathWizard » Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:30 pm

Jon_PassiveInvestor wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:59 am
stan1 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:58 am
Should be a package that covers these situations:
You die, she survives
She dies, you survive
You both die at or about the same time
What do you mean by "package"? I'm using Nolo Willmaker.
Get a lawyer to draw up the wills.

I'm cheap, and do almost everything DIY, but for a will, you need a lawyer.
There are no do-overs on the will if it does not work as you intended.

Mr. Rumples
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Re: Does my Wife Need a Will?

Post by Mr. Rumples » Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:40 pm

State laws varies, in my state your wife not only needs a will, you both need a power of attorney and a durable POA designation and a medical directvie. For example, if your wife is incapacitated, without a properly worded POA form, with co-owned property, you might find your hands tied until you petition the jurisdiction's court overseeing estates; the reason is she is not dead, she did not say you can act on her behalf and yet she can't communicate. On the other hand, you might find your hands tied after she dies without a properly worded durable POA until the estate is settled. Also, while medical providers frequently follow the wishes of the spouse in the event of the illness of the other, there are times when they want something more when it comes to end of life care. I had outpatient surgery last year and the hospital form specifically stated they would not honor DNR requests. What then will you do? Will you have the legal authority to put her into hospice? Or, to take her home to die - an option a friend of mine chose for his wife? Or will this turn into a nasty family fight while she suffers. These unpleasant things need to be worked out while you are both healthy. Whether you need a will, a POA, a Durable POA depends on your state. Keep in mind that some institutions don't recognize POA forms other than their own.
Last edited by Mr. Rumples on Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dm200
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Re: Does my Wife Need a Will?

Post by dm200 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:41 pm

MathWizard wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:30 pm
Jon_PassiveInvestor wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:59 am
stan1 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:58 am
Should be a package that covers these situations:
You die, she survives
She dies, you survive
You both die at or about the same time
What do you mean by "package"? I'm using Nolo Willmaker.
Get a lawyer to draw up the wills.

I'm cheap, and do almost everything DIY, but for a will, you need a lawyer.
There are no do-overs on the will if it does not work as you intended.
I agree 100%! You don't know what you don't know! An experienced estate attorney can help a lot.

bsteiner
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Re: Does my Wife Need a Will?

Post by bsteiner » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:18 pm

Jon_PassiveInvestor wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:59 am
... I'm using Nolo Willmaker.
Ask Nolo what they recommend.

inbox788
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Re: Does my Wife Need a Will?

Post by inbox788 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:02 pm

Of course she needs a haircut.

How old is the child? How old are you and spouse? You can designate POD/TOD beneficiary for financial accounts and some assets so they bypass probate. Your net worth and/or size of estate may determine the urgency of the matter.

IMO, too much hay is made for average folks in simple low risk situations like this, but when you're the unlucky victim of a low probably event, it's 100% to you. So what else can you do, other than do the best/most you can, when you can.
Jon_PassiveInvestor wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:08 pm
Yes the money goes into a trust until our son is 21. It will he managed by my father until that age.
How was this done? Nolo? And besides your will, what other parts of Nolo did you use? Were they all properly notarized and recorded? And who's got your records or where are they stored now?
Last edited by inbox788 on Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Jon_PassiveInvestor
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Re: Does my Wife Need a Will?

Post by Jon_PassiveInvestor » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:03 pm

Mr. Rumples wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:40 pm
State laws varies, in my state your wife not only needs a will, you both need a power of attorney and a durable POA designation and a medical directvie. For example, if your wife is incapacitated, without a properly worded POA form, with co-owned property, you might find your hands tied until you petition the jurisdiction's court overseeing estates; the reason is she is not dead, she did not say you can act on her behalf and yet she can't communicate. On the other hand, you might find your hands tied after she dies without a properly worded durable POA until the estate is settled. Also, while medical providers frequently follow the wishes of the spouse in the event of the illness of the other, there are times when they want something more when it comes to end of life care. I had outpatient surgery last year and the hospital form specifically stated they would not honor DNR requests. What then will you do? Will you have the legal authority to put her into hospice? Or, to take her home to die - an option a friend of mine chose for his wife? Or will this turn into a nasty family fight while she suffers. These unpleasant things need to be worked out while you are both healthy. Whether you need a will, a POA, a Durable POA depends on your state. Keep in mind that some institutions don't recognize POA forms other than their own.
Yes we have medical power of attorney for each other.

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Re: Does my Wife Need a Will?

Post by JGoneRiding » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:21 pm

Jon_PassiveInvestor wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:47 am
oldfatguy wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:45 am
Jon_PassiveInvestor wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:44 am
We are married with one child and co-own all assets including our home and vehicle. I have a will but does she need one? She does not have assets in her name only except Roth-IRA investments.
yes - in both of your wills you need to designate what will happen if you both die while your child is still a minor.
Wouldn't that be repetitious though? it would be all the same content.
Yes. They call them mirror wills. So the same things should.happen regardless of who dies first.

Often with the first spouse its not necessary to probate but with the second it is.

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dm200
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Re: Does my Wife Need a Will?

Post by dm200 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:31 pm

Jon_PassiveInvestor wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:03 pm
Mr. Rumples wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:40 pm
State laws varies, in my state your wife not only needs a will, you both need a power of attorney and a durable POA designation and a medical directvie. For example, if your wife is incapacitated, without a properly worded POA form, with co-owned property, you might find your hands tied until you petition the jurisdiction's court overseeing estates; the reason is she is not dead, she did not say you can act on her behalf and yet she can't communicate. On the other hand, you might find your hands tied after she dies without a properly worded durable POA until the estate is settled. Also, while medical providers frequently follow the wishes of the spouse in the event of the illness of the other, there are times when they want something more when it comes to end of life care. I had outpatient surgery last year and the hospital form specifically stated they would not honor DNR requests. What then will you do? Will you have the legal authority to put her into hospice? Or, to take her home to die - an option a friend of mine chose for his wife? Or will this turn into a nasty family fight while she suffers. These unpleasant things need to be worked out while you are both healthy. Whether you need a will, a POA, a Durable POA depends on your state. Keep in mind that some institutions don't recognize POA forms other than their own.
Yes we have medical power of attorney for each other.
The advanced medical directive (or medical power of attorney) is certainly something you can have your attorney draft, but for this document - I believe that, for most of us, this can be done ourselves. My wife and I are in the process of doing new medical directive documents. Now that our son is older and is now married, we plan to name him and his wife as secondary and tertiary designee to determine our desired care. Kaiser provides a written "fill in the blanks" booklet, as well as a pdf that can be filled in on a computer - then printed - as well as being stored electronically. There are many such fill in the blank documents available. Many religious organizations have them - sometimes with wording consistent with that religion's beliefs about medical treatment. As best I understand, different states may have different rules/laws/etc. about what treatment(s) can and cannot be stopped - and so on. I also believe that all of us need to try to stay up to date on such potentially "end of life" matters. Because they lived right next door to my late father, my brother and sister-in-law dealt with his last days - and what should and should not be done - as his condition worsened. My sister-in-law, especially, was very up to date on these things. Perhaps, for example, in the past some "heroic measures" almost always failed and just kept the patient "alive" but in pain with no quality of life. Then, maybe, due to medical advances, the same measure might now be likely to be successful. Some religious organizations have information sessions about such matters, as well as seniors groups, etc.

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dm200
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Re: Does my Wife Need a Will?

Post by dm200 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:46 pm

JGoneRiding wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:21 pm
Jon_PassiveInvestor wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:47 am
oldfatguy wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:45 am
Jon_PassiveInvestor wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:44 am
We are married with one child and co-own all assets including our home and vehicle. I have a will but does she need one? She does not have assets in her name only except Roth-IRA investments.
yes - in both of your wills you need to designate what will happen if you both die while your child is still a minor.
Wouldn't that be repetitious though? it would be all the same content.
Yes. They call them mirror wills. So the same things should.happen regardless of who dies first.
Often with the first spouse its not necessary to probate but with the second it is.
I have posted this before, but it might not hurt to post it again.Our previous estate planning attorney used this true story (I may have missed some of the details) to demonstrate why almost everyone should have a good will.

This happened when there were the fatal cases of poisoned Tylenol. Husband and wife, recently marries, neither with a will. Husband has a headache - takes several Tylenol capsules. A short while later, his wife also takes several Tylenol capsules for her headache. Husband next becomes very seriously ill and is rushed to the hospital, where he soon is pronounced dead - and the time noted for the record. Then, his wife also becomes violently ill, is also rushed to the hospital where she soon is pronounced dead.

They had few assets - but the husband had a significant life insurance policy. His parents filed a claim on the life insurance, believing that they would be the beneficiaries - since their son's wife was dead. "Just a minute", said the deceased wife's parents. "He died first, and upon his death - all went to his wife (our daughter). Then, she died, so that all should go to us." The case went to court - and the judge ruled that the money went to the wife's parents - since the sequence of their deaths was clear and not subject to dispute.

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