Your statement that you have arranged for a different beneficiary is confusing. What is the different beneficiary to receive? If you have given everything to a different beneficiary there will be no money left to pay for the funeral, unpaid medical expenses or your children. Instead of responding on this public list where you do not have the benefit of the attorney-client privilege required to fully develop the facts to properly answer your concerns and guide you you to achieve your wishes, I urge you to consult with an attorney with experience in Estate Planning and Will drafting immediately. If you do not know or have an attorney suggest you either use the Find a Lawyer Feature on AVVO or contact the Pennsylvania Bar Association - Lawyer Referral Service at 800-692-7375 for name(s) of attorneys available for Estate Planning and Will Drafting in Cambria county and the surrounding counties.
Mr. Geisenberger is a Pennsylvania-licensed attorney only. The information is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. Answering this question does not in any way constitute legal representation. Contacting Jacques H. Geisenberger, Jr., P.C.,does not constitute legal representation, nor is any information you provide protected by attorney-client privilege.
You should discuss fully with an estate planning attorney exactly what you want done with your estate so he or she can draft the will to accomplish what you want. Most attorneys will provide this type of service fairly inexpensively.
I agree with counsel. Proper estate planning in this situation would likely include an independent person to serve as executor of your will and as trustee of a revocable trust. The independent fiduciary would pay bills, decide disputes, sell assets (if necessary) and ultimately distribute the assets to or for the benefit of your children. Please discuss this matter with an experienced estate planning attorney and he or she will set you on the right path. Good luck to you.
This information is presented as a public service. It should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor considered to be the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. I am licensed in Connecticut and New York and my answers are based upon the law in those jurisdictions. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if I were to review a client's file and have the opportunity to interview the client. Accordingly, I strongly urge you to retain an attorney in your jurisdiction with respect to any legal matter.
Your comment about arranging for a different beneficiary is a little confusing. What you may mean instead is that you've arranged for a different executor. The executor of your will will guide your estate through the probate process when you die. Since your children don't get along, this may me a good idea because it will ensure that an independent third party is involved.
As far as writing your will to include money for each of your children, I would recommend contacting an estate planning attorney near where you live. This can be done through the will, and you will have several options. For example, you could give a certain dollar amount to each child, or you could divide your estate equally among your children. A competent estate planning attorney will walk you through the process to make sure your goals are met.
The answer provided above is not intended as legal advice; it is provided for informational purposes only. Please contact an attorney for legal advice.
Speaking only for myself, I share my colleagues' confusion over your question, and here's why:
While I am happy to offer my views on questions of estate planning that appear on Avvo, I'm always uncomfortable when I suspect that someone is asking for legal advice so that they may attempt to write their own estate planning document by themselves.
You may believe that you are saving money by trying the "do it yourself" route, but the real value in securing professional help in writing a will is in something which money cannot buy: peace among your kids (or at least no further escalation of conflict).
A trained attorney should have ideas which you, as a layperson, might not even have considered to solve your problem.
It all comes down to what you value more: saving a few bucks, or having your kids get along. You choose.
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If someone else is the beneficiary and you want it to go to your kids, have an attorney write a new Will.
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