My families estate is about to be probated. My mother will get 50% and 5 siblings including me get the pther 50%. Can I write a living will (Wish) giving my mother the 10 % and get it notarized without a lawyer?
Employment / Labor Attorney
However, if this is of any value you should have your own attorney. Your mother's attorney won't represent you, and may not be able to properly advise you on the pros and cons (such as tax implications) of your choice.
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2 lawyers agree
You should definitely hire your own separate lawyer to advise you.
You asked if you could prepare something in writing ("living will" "wish") and "get it notarized without a lawyer".
Please do not try to handle your own legal matters without your own attorney.
An attorney familiar with estate, probate, and taxes can help you get what you need and advise you on what is best for you. In the short term, it may cost you some legal fees, however, without the proper guidance and advice of an attorney now on both carrying out your wishes and tax concerns that you should consider, you may have unforeseen negative consequences in the future -- and then at that future time, it may be too late to fix the problem or may be become more expensive to resolve the problem if it isn't too late to fix it.
Suzanne Alexandra Ascher, Esq., CPA, Tax LL.M.
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You are talking about a qualified disclaimer. There are time and substantive requirements that need to be considered. Also, if you disclaim it is as if you predeceased, so your mom will not get your 10%. Your other option is to take the inheritance and then gift it to her, but there are gift tax implications for you such case.
Yes the form should be filled out and then signed witnessed and notarized. The notary just attests to the fact that docoument was freely signed under oath by the actual individual granting the power. The real question here is whether a do it yourself power of attorney will be sufficient for the makers needs.
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As some of the other attorneys have noted, depending upon the size of your share, there could be tax implications for you and or the estate.
If it is Massachusetts, there could be estate tax savings if the estate is coming from your late father if he was married to your mother at the time of his death, and the estate is over $1,000,000. Depending upon whether there is a will (you say "probate" - which attorneys normally associate with a will, versus "administration" which is associated with no will or an "intestate" estate.) To obtain the estate tax savings, you would need to execute a specific document called a qualified disclaimer, provided that the will directs that your share pass to your mother if you predecease or disclaim. I.e., you really should speak to an attorney because it can get complicated, and if you do it wrong, you lose the benefits.)
If you want to execute a trust, (is that what you mean by a "living will"? - "living will" actually stands for a document that tells the doctors or your family about what to do if your medical situation is dire, and you are terminal or suffering from dementia, or are on a feeding tube, etcetera...), this again would be something about which you'd want to speak with an attorney.
Long and short of it, if there is any significant amount of money involved, speak with an attorney. If it is a piddling amount, take the cash and give it to your mother (assuming there is nothing else preventing you from doing so...)