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muddlehead

Simple Estate Plan Must Be Too Good To Be True

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Married. 2 children.No other spouses or children. 50-50 split children at death of second spouse or if both of us die at same time. Estate total worth will always be less than federal estate inheritance / death tax level. Entire estate in 3 places. Schwab accounts have POD / TOD 50-50 split to children. Bank of America account has POD /TOD 50-50 split to children. Live in California. New law took effect Jan 1, 2016 enabling our house (we have just one) to be passed to heirs via POD / TOD also. Sounds too easy. Am I missing something?

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Hi @muddlehead

 

Thanks for posting! A solid estate plan is important, and as you mention even simple estate plans that seem completely straightforward now can end up having issues and problems down the road. You may want to confer with a good estate planning attorney just to be sure that all of the estate documents are prepared correctly. You may also want to set up a trust, rather than a simple will, so that your children can avoid the expensive and time-consuming probate court process.

 

You can find a California estate planning attorney using our Lawyer Directory -- many offer free consultations.

 

Best of luck and let us know if you have additional questions!

The FindLaw.com Team

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As long as the children are adult I don't see a problem.  On the other hand I have been accused of malpractice for telling people in your situation that they don't need to set up a trust (and pay me $3,000 to do it).

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Using normal sentence structure would make it easier for us to understand what you write.

 

 

30 minutes ago, muddlehead said:

Married. 2 children.No other spouses or children. 50-50 split children at death of second spouse

 

Huh?  If you've had no other spouses, what does "death of second spouse" refer to?  What does the reference to "split[ting] [your] children" mean?

 

 

32 minutes ago, muddlehead said:

Sounds too easy. Am I missing something?

 

I don't know what your question means, and your facts are anything but clear.  All you've done is describe a bunch of assets that apparently will pass outside your estate and made a vague reference to Part 4 of Division 5 (starting with section 5600) of the California Probate Code (which will be automatically repealed as of 1/1/2021, unless the Legislature renews it).  Asking anonymous strangers on the internet to endorse your vaguely described estate plan is foolish (or, at least, acting on such endorsements would be).

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No, my point is if everything is set up POD/TOD or JTWROS you may not even need a will.  The only problem may be vehicles, which require transfer of title.

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35 minutes ago, muddlehead said:

If we have a will, and the POD /TOD"s, there's no probate, right?

 

Whether or not probate is required has nothing to do with whether the deceased did or didn't have a will.  Some form of probate is required if the value of the estate is greater than $150k or if transfers of title are needed.  See http://www.courts.ca.gov/8865.htm.

 

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RetiredinVA - agree. TOD, POD, Transfer on deat deed supercede will.

pg1067 - The issue is whether or not POD / TOD's for financial accounts, and a Transfer on Death Deed for our house, are easy and effective ways to pass assets to our sons. The answer is yes.   

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So long as you don't mind the risks of impact by law of unintended consequences, it's fine.  Assuming you still have assets when you die, do you (for one of many scenarios) care what happens if all of you die together?  

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