I have a elderly woman who has become a mother figure in my life, who wants to leave her estate to me, she has no children or

Asked over 1 year ago - Cape May, NJ

siblings. What is the best estate plan for her to leave me her estate with the least state and federal tax implications?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Charles Adam Shultz

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There are real issues of financial elder abuse that could be alleged. The advice is for you to encourage the woman to seek out and hire her own estate planning attorney to help her. The less involved you are the better.

    The woman can also write out her own will in her own handwriting. THat is not advisable in this case as you would want an experienced attorney to be able to testify that you were not involved.

    If there is money here, believe me, distant relatives will smell it and come out of the wood work and come after you.

    The general advice above does not constitute an attorney-client relationship: you haven't hired me or my firm or... more
  2. Joseph Michael Pankowski Jr

    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Attorney Shultz is correct. You will want your friend to hire her own estate planning attorney to prepare a new will and (perhaps) other estate planning documents for her. Specifically, you should not:

    a) make an appointment for your friend with the attorney;
    b) drive your friend to the attorney's office;
    c) provide any advice to your friend about what she should be doing.

    In short, you need to stay out of this so that you avoid any appearance of undue influence on your friend. Such a claim could very well occur after her death when her relatives come out of the wood-work. Good luck to you.

    This information is presented as a public service. It should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor... more
  3. John M Connell


    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with the answer that the farther you are away from any decision that she makes the better. I will defer to the experts like the answer above, but this issue is a ripe one for potential abuse so best to be very hands off and let her make her own decisions including what attorney she uses to draft the will. Her mental statre can be questioned by anyone looking at this decision so a physicians involvement may be needed by her attorney.

  4. John Arthur Daniels

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . I agree with the other attorneys, I would let this woman pursue her own answer to this question. If you are even asking a question regarding state and federal tax implications, then the estate may be potentially sizable enough to draw scrutiny. Be careful.

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