Changing a will
I have two sisters and a brother, all younger than me - youngest sister lives in FL, everyone else lives local. Several years ago I made a will, along with a living revocable trust and powers of atty for finance and health care. At the time, I had a good relationship with the older of my two sisters, whom I'll call K - I named her executor and gave the healthcare proxy. I have a reasonably good relationship with my brother, J and gave him the financial POA. The will stipulates a 3 way split of all assets between the three of them.
Since that time, I have had a MAJOR falling out with my sister K and have not seen or spoken to her in the past two years. I am thinking of replacing her as executor and transferring the healthcare POA to my brother, because I am concerned that she won't assume any responsibility at all. The language in the will says something about if the executor is "unwilling or unable" to assume the duties of the estate, the next available person can do so, which I assume would be my brother since he lives here and could and would respond quickly, esp if there was a health care emergency (I have a "no extraordinary measure" directive). The will also calls for an even three way split of all assets between the siblings. Here is my concern: despite our falling out, I can't quite bring myself to cut my sister completely out of her third, and even if I did, I believe my brother, who is a single man and is fairly wealthy, would end up giving her his share - there's really nothing to prevent him from doing this, right? (He sees himself as a "peacemaker" of sorts, although his efforts to date have been unsuccessful. So what, if anything, should I do? My biggest concern is the health care POA - I really believe that if a hospital or ER called my sister in the middle of the night and told her to bring paperwork she wouldn't do it. And, despite this prolonged estrangement, as I said, I can't bring myself to cut her out completely. FYI, we are not talking about major major money here, but each third would be in excess of about $100K, not counting the proceeds from the sale of my house, its contents and my car. Sincere advice please - thanks!
|by Anonymous||reply 21||Last Thursday at 3:54 PM|
Can I have your stuff, OP?
|by Anonymous||reply 1||Last Thursday at 9:54 AM|
Good question, OP.
If you did cut out your sister and you died first (out of all the siblings), what would be the effect? Would it cause strife between your 3 surviving siblings? If yes, then I'd divide it equally.
Your health care POA stuff is an entirely different matter. Cut her out if she's not dependable. Peace of mind (for you) is important.
|by Anonymous||reply 2||Last Thursday at 9:58 AM|
If you have any question as to your executrix’s willingness to carry out the terms of the will you should remove her. The conditional language you suggest is not advisable for a contract of that sort. In terms of your brother giving her his third, if he’s really going to do that, then you should leave him out of the will entirely so that the money isn’t when he transfers it to her.
I’d make a provision for a law firm to be hired to be the executor and then you absolve the siblings of an potential liability or internecine strife.
|by Anonymous||reply 3||Last Thursday at 10:04 AM|
You should not have someone you haven't spoken to for the past two years be in charge of your POA. Duh. The fact that you haven't changed this in two years makes me question whether or not you are just an EST (or simply not very bright-sorry).
As for your assets, who cares? You'll be dead. If it were me, I'd will everything to a charity or something just to be spiteful.
|by Anonymous||reply 4||Last Thursday at 10:05 AM|
I have ON DIGITAL RECORDING my mother saying I should leave it ALL to you. You and your brothers will never talk after I'm gone anyway.
She was right about that; there are occasional texts.
I didn't push her on it b/c ...I just didn't.
She was my mother; I loved her and I was there for her.
I'm single and left to decide what to do with my small savings; I may leave some to a brother who stepped up with nuts and bolts care of my mother (doctor's appointments; holidays, but little true emotional support) His kids? Mom never heard from them and neither do I.
I have to dear friends that I may want to leave something to.
We're all going.
|by Anonymous||reply 5||Last Thursday at 10:05 AM|
Other than a spouse as required by law, no one is entitled to your assets after you die. Do with them what you want. If your siblings and other survivors can't deal with it, that's on them.
|by Anonymous||reply 6||Last Thursday at 10:08 AM|
I would absolutely agree you want to make sure your POA lies with someone you trust and who is there for you now while you're alive.
As for the money: it's your money to divide as you will. But changing it so as to be punish people or to be spiteful is never a good idea--it winds up punishing everyone else as well.
|by Anonymous||reply 7||Last Thursday at 10:11 AM|
[quote] But changing it so as to be punish people or to be spiteful is never a good idea--it winds up punishing everyone else as well.
But it's so much fun!
|by Anonymous||reply 8||Last Thursday at 10:12 AM|
Had you done the Suzie Orman program you could just go in and change it anytime you want
|by Anonymous||reply 9||Last Thursday at 10:12 AM|
I know I need to change that health care POA, but the two years have kind of zipped by, esp with the pandemic. And I think I simply need to free myself of worrying about whatever my brother chooses to do with his third. Years ago when our maternal grandmother died, she left each of us $5K. My brother tried to refuse to take his, until my father, who was her executor, insisted. However, I found out later that he gave his $5K to our youngest sister who was newly married and in FL at the time. That didn't bother me at all, in fact I thought it was a kind thing to do, but now that my own money is at stake, I can see him giving his share to my sister if I cut her out. Which, despite everything, I really can't bring myself to do - it's such bad karma.
It shouldn't really be a big deal to change the healthcare POA if nothing else is involved, right?
|by Anonymous||reply 10||Last Thursday at 10:15 AM|
OP, if you are worried about being subjected to "extraordinary measures" in spite of your wishes, you need to do two things:
1) Have a copy of your DPOA or living will scanned into the electronic healthcare, and/or carry a copy with you.
2) Get a "DNR" medical alert bracelet. They exist.
|by Anonymous||reply 11||Last Thursday at 10:18 AM|
Cut your sister out completely. Leave everything to someone who will honor your wishes (not your brother).
|by Anonymous||reply 12||Last Thursday at 10:18 AM|
[quote] It shouldn't really be a big deal to change the healthcare POA if nothing else is involved, right?
No, it should not be a big deal. People get "living wills" (health care directives) confused with a will that distributes assets. They're not really related.
|by Anonymous||reply 13||Last Thursday at 10:33 AM|
I have a call in to the lawyer, who I really like and trust. Will see what advice he offers about changing executor and healthcare POA. I pulled all the documents out of the safe and looked them over, and every single clause carries that language about if the executor is "deceased, unable, unwilling or resigns" then all responsibility passes to my brother and the same language applies to him, and then everything would go to my youngest sister.
I realize that the healthcare POA is the biggie. I held my mother's, and back in 2005, when she had a stroke, I was called at 3 am and told that "whoever had the papers" needed to come to the hospital asap. They were prepared to artificially ventilate her, take her to the cardiac cath lab, and god knows what else, had I not shown up with those documents, said no to everything, and she died peacefully about 12 hours later.
|by Anonymous||reply 14||Last Thursday at 10:41 AM|
My atty can have the healthcare POA changed within a week, and I have decide not to make any other changes at this point. I honestly am not that concerned about what becomes of my money or property once I'm deceased, but I realized the healthcare POA was really beginning to worry me.
|by Anonymous||reply 15||Last Thursday at 2:30 PM|
OP, whatever you decide, DO IT NOW. So many people think they can put this kind of thing off. They never do it. And the cunts wind up getting what they don't deserve.
|by Anonymous||reply 16||Last Thursday at 2:40 PM|
[quote]I have two sisters and a brother, all younger than me
But leaving anything to someone with whom one has had a falling out and who has done nothing to repair the relationship is a bigger "Oh, dear" flub.
And bothering us about it is the biggest.
Too bad the OP has never heard of charity and legacies, since the executor's portion could be left to the brother for his work, a third left to the good sister, and the rest left to worthy organizations.
|by Anonymous||reply 17||Last Thursday at 2:40 PM|
Do what you want, but as soon as possible.
If you want to give your shitty sister some money, why not reconsider the thirds. Get you brothers consent for the changes as they will affect his responsibilities, and give him and the good sister 40% each and, for the shitty sister, 20% more than she deserves. Or however you want to apportion it but keep things reasonably simple.
If an estranged relative left me 20% or 10% of their estate, I would be pleased and surprised.
|by Anonymous||reply 18||Last Thursday at 3:13 PM|
Honestly, it sounds easier to just patch things up with your sister.
|by Anonymous||reply 19||Last Thursday at 3:30 PM|
Don't you have a friend you could give your health care POA to? My close friends could be trusted as much as my family to show up and convey my wishes regarding my health care. You can still leave the money to your family if you like - the POA can be totally independent of who gets the money.
|by Anonymous||reply 20||Last Thursday at 3:36 PM|
[quote] But it's so much fun!
Then you would enjoy Victorian novels--they're all about changing wills as a means of showing love: Middlemarch, Little Dorrit, Our Mutual Friend, Martin Chuzzlewit, Orley Farm, is He Popenjoy?, etc.
But the message of them is always usually the same: using inclusion and exclusion in wills as a means of controlling people--and ultimately, equating money with love--is just wrong.
|by Anonymous||reply 21||Last Thursday at 3:54 PM|