Planning for Death

Create Your Quarantine Routine

What do you think of when you hear the word “routine?” Does it make you think of monotony and boredom? Or does it make you feel serene, calm, and have peace of mind?

Up until a few weeks ago, every day was the same. Wake up, go to school/work, eat, school/work, come home, dinner, bed. That’s all changed and routines have flown out the window!

Just think about how powerful you could be if you tweaked your routine to allow more time for you to build your legacy in the world.

What happens to Alice if I die? A Look at Gertrude Stein’s Last Will and Testament

Gertrude Stein died in 1946, just three days after writing her Will. No one imagined that 21 years later, her life partner, Alice Toklas, would die impoverished, half-blind, and half-deaf. During the later years of her life, Alice relied upon the goodwill and solicitations of friends to keep a roof over her head. What went wrong with Alice’s Will that resulted in the of her life dying in poverty?

How to talk to your parents about aging and dealing with their “stuff”

One of the biggest questions we get around the holiday season is … “How do I talk to my parents about their stuff?”

And this question is then awkwardly followed by, “Look, I don’t really want or expect anything from my parents, but I just don’t know what to do if they get sick or … fall down when I’m not home and …. you know…” and the person then trails off.

It’s hard to talk to your parents about them getting older and becoming more frail. Here are a few ways to start that discussion.

Can a Last Will and Testament be changed after a person dies?

It’s not uncommon for a person to want to change a decedent’s Last Will and Testament. The most common reason is, “Well, that’s not really what they wanted,” or “That’s not what they meant.” Those reasons are not enough to change a will after a person has died, which is why it is essential to get the Will right when it’s being created. Short answer? No, you can’t change a person’s will after they die. Long answer? It depends. (Hey, we’re attorneys, this is the default answer.)

Does a Last Will and Testament Avoid Probate?

When a person passes away, someone has to step up and take care of everything that the person left behind. The person who died is called the “decedent.” The person who steps up is called the personal representative. Everything that is left behind is called the estate.

The personal representative might be an executor who is nominated in the decedent’s will, or they might be an administrator who is allowed to apply under the statutes.

The person who wants to step up as the personal representative completes the application in the local County Surrogate’s office. If everything is in order, the representative will take an oath and be sworn in and designated to act on behalf of the decedent.

The Last Will and Testament of Freddie Mercury – Don’t Stop Me Now

At the time of his death, Freddie Mercury’s net worth is estimated to have been about $30 million, which today would be worth approximately $50 to $60 million. His assets included real estate, art, royalties, catalog rights and more. Since then, his state has grown to an estimated net worth of around $100 million. We know what was his in estate because Freddie Mercury left behind a Last Will and Testament.

Are Last Wills and Testaments part of the Public Record?

As estate planning attorneys, we are often asked whether we can obtain another person’s last will and testament. This is not an uncommon request and often it’s a child or other beneficiary seeking to discover whether they have an inheritance that will be coming down the road to them.

As a first note, if you’re asking about the last will and testament of someone who is still alive then you should probably be talking to that person and not talking to an attorney. You should go and spend time with that person while they’re still with you, because once they’re gone, they’re gone

What Do You Do with a Codicil?

Suppose you’re up to date on your adulting and you checked off “Make my Will.” Go you! But what happens if you’re doing your annual revenue of your Will (because you’re an adult and you got this!) and you notice that you need to make some changes.

Maybe you want to change the person that you named as an executor or you want to change how you have your beneficiaries set up. So, you go to you nearest internet connection device and search for, “How do I change my will?” After scrolling through all the self-help guides on accountability and vision-boarding, you change your search to “How do I change my executor?” or “How do I change my Last Will and Testament?” Ahha, finally the search results are looking better …

You discover that there’s a legal document called a codicil and think that’s exactly what you want. But do you? Do you really want a codicil? Maybe it’s better to make a whole new Last Will and Testament.