Estate Attorneys


D

DFIGTREE

I think just about everyone needs an estate attorney. No matter how
much or little youa re passing on when you pass on, you need to protect
it properly from creditors and divorcing spouses as well as estate ansd
state taxes. AM I RIGHT OR WRONG?
 
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J

joetaxpayer

DFIGTREE said:
I think just about everyone needs an estate attorney. No matter how
much or little youa re passing on when you pass on, you need to protect
it properly from creditors and divorcing spouses as well as estate ansd
state taxes. AM I RIGHT OR WRONG?
change 'everyone' to 'most' or even 'many' and you're closer.
a good number of people have no assets, they hardly need a will.
the next group can get by with a properly executed will.
I can't come up with a 'rule of thumb' as to when an estate attorney is
in order, but it's more likely 1/3 or fewer people, just my gut.
JOE
 
E

Elle

I would say the less you have and the smarter you are, the
less you need an estate attorney.
 
C

catalpa

DFIGTREE said:
I think just about everyone needs an estate attorney. No matter how
much or little youa re passing on when you pass on, you need to protect
it properly from creditors and divorcing spouses as well as estate ansd
state taxes. AM I RIGHT OR WRONG?
Wrong. Most people do not have enough assets to bother. Census Bureau data
from 2000 shows that the median net worth of 104,644,000 households (not
individuals) was only $55,000. Go to
http://www.census.gov/prod/2003pubs/p70-88.pdf for complete details.
 
S

Sgt.Sausage

DFIGTREE said:
I think just about everyone needs an estate attorney. No matter how
much or little youa re passing on when you pass on, you need to protect
it properly from creditors and divorcing spouses as well as estate ansd
state taxes. AM I RIGHT OR WRONG?

Estate attornies are often times not needed, but if they are ... be advised:
they are *expensive*. I had an acquaintance get charge $58,000 for about
100 hours of work in probate, liquidation of assets, handling the willed
distributions, etc. That works out to $580 an hour (!!!!). See ... our state
sets up a schedule based upon the value of the assets and the attorney
charges based upon the value of the estate, and not the hours worked.
What made this even worse (and outright despicable, if you ask me) is
that the attorney was a family member (by marriage, not blood), and he
made a killing at the expense of the family.

If only I could find something that pays me $580 an hour ...
 
D

Don

I think just about everyone needs an estate attorney. No matter how
much or little youa re passing on when you pass on, you need to protect
it properly from creditors and divorcing spouses as well as estate ansd
state taxes. AM I RIGHT OR WRONG?
If the executor of an estate is well qualified, there is no reason to
have an "estate attorney." It is the executor's job to take over and,
if legal problems arise, to hire an attorney on an hourly basis, at a
reasonable fee, for the actual legal work done. In the same way, it is
the executor's job to hire accountants, tax-preparers, real estate
agents, and whatever professionals may be needed, paying their usual
fees and commissions. At least, that is the way it is supposed to be
in theory. In practice, the executor, who often is a family member,
may be inexperienced and feel intimidated, so there is a lot of room
for excessive charges and profiteering by various people who become
involved in handling the business of the estate.
 
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M

Mark Freeland

Sgt.Sausage said:
Estate attornies are often times not needed, but if they are ... be
advised: they are *expensive*. I had an acquaintance get charge
$58,000 for about 100 hours of work in probate, liquidation of assets,
handling the willed distributions, etc. That works out to $580 an hour
(!!!!). See ... our state sets up a schedule based upon the value of
the assets and the attorney charges based upon the value of the
estate, and not the hours worked.
Are you sure that the *attorney* fees were based on the estate value? I
ask because, while it is quite common for states to establish *executor*
fees this way (and the attorney could have been working as the
executor), it is, I believe, much less common for states to require
attorney fees to be based on estate assets.

For example, in Wisconsin:
"y law, the attorney cannot base charges for probate services on a
percentage of the estate's value. ... The personal representative
[executor] has a right to reimbursement ... for time spent carrying out
those duties. Payment ... may equal 2 percent of the inventory value of
the estate assets."
http://www.legalexplorer.com/legal/legal-QA.asp?PositionPoint=29&Sid=30#A7

Or Ohio:
"Ohio Rev. Code 2113.36 permits probate courts to use their discretion
in paying resonable attorney fees ... [but] that discression cannot
effectively be exercised solely by the applicaition of a predetermined
formula."
http://www.elderlawanswers.com/resources/article.asp?id=658&section=7&state=OH

Maybe your state is different.
 
S

Sgt.Sausage

Mark Freeland said:
Are you sure that the *attorney* fees were based on the estate value? I
ask because, while it is quite common for states to establish *executor*
fees this way (and the attorney could have been working as the
executor), it is, I believe, much less common for states to require
attorney fees to be based on estate assets.
Actually, I think you're correct. He was likely the executor, who
just happened to be an attorney.

In either case, it was quite a pricey situation.
 
M

MATTY

DFIGTREE said:
I think just about everyone needs an estate attorney. No matter how
much or little youa re passing on when you pass on, you need to protect
it properly from creditors and divorcing spouses as well as estate ansd
state taxes. AM I RIGHT OR WRONG?
depends how crucial it is to get things right.

Rember NOTHINGS A PROBLEM UNTIL ITS A PROBLEM

my ex-wife had inheirited a house from her mom ,it was a simple will
that was basically a canned form. well we refinanced , at the closing
the title company stopped the refinance. why? A word was missing from
the will,although it said her mom was leaving everything to her
daughter it omitted the word that said only child.

i had to pay 3 different attorneys for the day, lost my interest rate i
locked in and had to get affidavetes from relatives that she was an
only child.
 
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M

MATTY

DFIGTREE said:
I think just about everyone needs an estate attorney. No matter how
much or little youa re passing on when you pass on, you need to protect
it properly from creditors and divorcing spouses as well as estate ansd
state taxes. AM I RIGHT OR WRONG?
some more thoughts on how nothing is a problem until its a problem.

here in new york attornies use whats more proper protocal than law when
executing a will. certain questions are asked that seemed silly at the
time but the lawyer asked us questions like

do we know what a will is?

are we of sound mind?

any undue influence?

etc:

without asking those questions anyone contesting a will can open up
many avenues of getting the will decalred invaild. Even who the
witnesses are and their relationship is key. had i used the simple will
kit i would never have known any of this, its especially important in
2nd marriages.

Why use an estate attorney over a general practioner. BECAUSE NOTHINGS
A PROBLEM UNTIL ITS A PROBLEM

my new wife was left a business in a trust from her deceased husbands
family. the trust specifically wrote out her husbands estranged
children from a previous marriage. What could be clearer..

well it seems since my wifes husband died an early death and at the
time his mom was still alive the general practioner who drew up the
trust failed to have a sentance pertaining to pre-deceasing .

a 2 year court battle, 100,000 in legal fees and a 400,000 dollar
buyout of an inheirited business by the written out step children and
we learned how important it is to get the right guy for the right job
 

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