Author Topic: Making a will and doing POA -- cheap and easy options?  (Read 1557 times)

Hibush

  • blueberries
  • Distinguished Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1349
  • CHE Posts: 942
Re: Making a will and doing POA -- cheap and easy options?
« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2019, 06:18:36 AM »
An attorney is helpful for describing the consequences of the various choices one can make in the will, advance medical directive or POA. That information can save quite a bit of time and avoid mistakes (two alternative meanings of cheap and easy).

The distaste for attorneys is understandable. One way to get very good advice from a more sympathetic attorney is to use one that primarily practices elder law. That is, they mostly represent old people who are now needing those plans. Their style is likely to be very different from trial or corporate lawyers and they know a lot of the pitfalls you want to avoid.

polly_mer

  • The Voice of Doom
  • Senior Moderator
  • Distinguished Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4042
  • Have you hugged your family today?
  • CHE Posts: lots!
Re: Making a will and doing POA -- cheap and easy options?
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2019, 06:24:42 AM »
One way to get very good advice from a more sympathetic attorney is to use one that primarily practices elder law. That is, they mostly represent old people who are now needing those plans. Their style is likely to be very different from trial or corporate lawyers and they know a lot of the pitfalls you want to avoid.

Second to the specialty of elder law.  We used our legal insurance to have wills and POAs done (we even have a ready-for-triggering POA for someone to make school etc. decisions for Blocky in case that becomes necessary) with someone in town who does that almost exclusively.

As flyingbison wrote, the lawyer specializing in this area had checklists and standard options from which to choose to have a lot of control over who gets to do what under what circumstances.  We didn't even know to ask all the questions, but once it was there on the sheet as an option, we had good discussions on what we wanted.
Do whatever you want--I'm just the background dancer in your show!

Volhiker78

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 132
Re: Making a will and doing POA -- cheap and easy options?
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2019, 06:27:35 AM »
I had durable POA for my father.  Under POWERS/Monies it reads:  "To use the funds in any account of mine on deposit with any financial institution, for my health, support, and comfort; to make deposits and withdrawals, whether by check or otherwise; to renew or not renew any certificates of deposit; to cash in or transfer any stocks or bonds; and to have full access to the contents of my safe deposit box."

I presume you could put in certain restrictions but obviously, a lawyer could advise.  This POA was in Tennessee.     


downer

  • Distinguished Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1291
  • This heaven gives me migraine.
  • CHE Posts: 7500
Re: Making a will and doing POA -- cheap and easy options?
« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2019, 06:34:00 AM »

Is it possible to do a POA that gives limited power, paying bills, mortgage, medical expenses, and not allowing transfers of funds to others on a large scale?


Check your state POA form.  Mine has a checklist for 13 different areas of responsibility that can be selected (or not), as well as place for specific instructions to be listed.

Ah yes, it does have something like that. It is a complicated form. I guess that's an argument for having a lawyer guide me through it.
"Change takes courage." Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Wahoo Redux

  • Distinguished Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1587
Re: Making a will and doing POA -- cheap and easy options?
« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2019, 06:56:19 AM »
Get a lawyer who specializes.  You don't want to play with this stuff.  And a lawyer overseeing the process can be a godsend, even if you don't like the profession (see below).

And! Make damn sure you tell whoever will be exercising the POA what it is, where the documents are, and what the responsibilities are.  My father apparently told my mother about the POA and the living trust he had set up before he died.  Then my mother developed dementia.  I didn't know about any of this until I hired a lawyer who tracked down the will and the trust for my mom.  I was able to keep the estate afloat and get the taxes paid but I live in a distant state and it was a major hassle until the bank took over the finances.

It simply is a good idea to let the pros deal with the intricacies of the law.

downer

  • Distinguished Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1291
  • This heaven gives me migraine.
  • CHE Posts: 7500
Re: Making a will and doing POA -- cheap and easy options?
« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2019, 07:06:09 AM »
A specialist? I thought this was bread and butter law, done by Main St legal practices.

I've been quoted about $600 from a lawyer to do the will, POA and Advance Directive. A friend recommended the lawyer.

Obviously I can do it for myself for a lot less. I'm not really worried about the $600 too much, so long as that gets it all over and done with.
"Change takes courage." Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Wahoo Redux

  • Distinguished Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1587
Re: Making a will and doing POA -- cheap and easy options?
« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2019, 07:41:48 AM »
I think if you got a personal recommendation that is probably as good as anything for a more or less routine legal matter.  I was thinking of a lawyer who specializes in elder or estate law. 

My dad went to a law firm which focused on probate and estate law, and they were fantastic when they swung into action.  Before I knew this, I contacted the state's Bar organization and asked for a referral.  The lawyer they referred me to was a complete dud----he was young and couldn't tell his ass from the lightswitch.  Finally he admitted that the living will was beyond him; he was fair and didn't charge for his non-services.  The big thing he accomplished was finding the law firm which had done the estate documents in the first place.

I didn't mean to derail.  I simply think it is important to have a lawyer do your documents in case there comes a time that you cannot deal with the legalities yourself.  People often take advantage of the POA.    Good to have a lawyer then.

nebo113

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 614
Re: Making a will and doing POA -- cheap and easy options?
« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2019, 05:58:30 AM »
From wahoo-redux:  I simply think it is important to have a lawyer do your documents in case there comes a time that you cannot deal with the legalities yourself.  People often take advantage of the POA.    Good to have a lawyer then.


DEFINITELY!!!  (from another wahoo...)

emprof

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 36
Re: Making a will and doing POA -- cheap and easy options?
« Reply #23 on: November 18, 2019, 12:45:47 PM »
A specialist? I thought this was bread and butter law, done by Main St legal practices.


It depends on what you need done, and how solidly. We just did our estate planning with a small firm that just does that, and it was wills with multiple contingencies and related testamentary trust, guardianship, HIPAA releases, POA, health directives, transfer on death deed for our house and more. We paid about $1200 and it comes with unlimited changes and consultations for us and anyone associated with our estate. So if something happens and a relative/executor needs to get copies of something, check information etc they won't get billed for that.

Hibush

  • blueberries
  • Distinguished Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1349
  • CHE Posts: 942
Re: Making a will and doing POA -- cheap and easy options?
« Reply #24 on: November 18, 2019, 02:31:24 PM »
A specialist? I thought this was bread and butter law, done by Main St legal practices.

Obviously I can do it for myself for a lot less.

It is the difference between "doing it" and doing it right. A specialist in elderlaw will be able to turn your desires into the appropriate legal language. They will also ask questions you didn't think of, and have potential answers to consider. That is likely to be less expensive, at least a better value, that using than someone doing mostly real estate, or someone writing fill-in-the-blank forms.