My mother told me many times over the years that she had a will, and I believed her. When she passed away, we discovered that her will was 40 years old—and completely useless.
My father left his house to me and my sister. However, 75% is supposed to be for me and 25% for her. Because she feels that was unfair, she’s fighting with me about selling the house.
Being disinherited or left out of a will is the last thing you want to discover in the wake of losing a loved one. Although it can be very hurtful to not be included, the fact that a person is disinherited does not necessarily indicate foul play.
It is quite a tragedy when a loved one passes away. You may want to remember them by keeping sentimental objects from their home, or perhaps they wanted you to inherit a specific item.
If a loved one asks you to be the executor of their estate, think carefully before you take on this responsibility. While you have the option of declining the request, the person reaching out likely considers you to be responsible and detail oriented. An executor of an estate typically helps file paperwork, close accounts and distribute the assets of the deceased.
A competent elder law or estate attorney can discuss and use, where appropriate, such provisions as the family exemption, benefits to prepaying inheritance tax, even where the tax return is not yet complete and a listing of itemized deductions.
Every estate plan should include three essential documents: a durable general power of attorney, a healthcare power of attorney and a last will and testament. Of the three essential estate planning documents, the will is the only document that is used after death.
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