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I understand the POAs end at death; under the trust papers, I will wrap up the trust and transfer the balance to her brother. She does not have a will that I'm aware of and I'm tempted to leave it as it is, because I have no desire to be executor. I was executor of my father's estate, and the estates of my ward's father and mother, all of whom died in the same year. I am tired and once my friend is gone, I really don't care what happens to her things. If I don't see that she has a will, am I failing in my responsibilities?

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Well, I’ve just discovered that some of my queries were answered by Ms. Ryter but that I’m unable to edit what I just wrote, so here are some corrections.

If your friend wants any of the assets outside the Trust to be handled in a specific way, it might be appropriate to add them to the Trust, either by an amendment which specifically includes them, or by a bill of sale transfer (no sale really, just a transfer of the named assets).

Otherwise, as it stands now, if they are outside the trust there is no planned disposition for them when your friend passes.

That leaves a void of responsibility and disposition.

If she doesn’t want her brother to hold POA authority, something needs to be created or disposition needs to be made via the Trust for those assets outside it, or as you queried, a will needs to be created just for those assets that aren't included in the Trust. Otherwise, they’re going to be in limbo.

I think it would be advisable to address this now and plan for disposition of anything outside the Trust, whether it’s directly to an heir, to charity, or whatever your friend wants.

As to your specific authority, it should be defined in the Trust, although the responsibilities and authority of a Trustee can be quite broad so there's room for disagreement between the brother and you what your authority might be and whether it would INFER authority over the assets not specifically name.
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Is your friend named as Settlor of her own Trust, and are you the Successor Trustee? If so, are your duties limited to "wrapping up" (that should be more specifically defined in the Trust, then legally transferring any titled assets as well as untitled assets to her brother?

Trusts in Michigan typically include pour-over Wills, which provides that assets which would be covered under a will are disposed of as defined in the Trust. I don't know about trust documentation in other states, but you should inquire of your friend and/or the attorney who drafted the trust documentation. If there is a pour-over Will, that answers your question.

This issue should have been addressed as part of the trust documentation if it was prepared by a competent attorney. There can also be documentation transferring general assets such as household goods, collectibles, etc. into the Trust. In addition, the Trust MUST be funded in order for titled assets to be subject to it. This would include transfer of real estate from your friend to her as Settlor of her Trust, or to however the Trust is titled.

I think some clarification of your responsibilites when your friend passes might help resolve your concerns.
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You know, maybe a simple online will would be appropriate. Maybe those things could just be put into the trust. The house would be the big issue unless it has already been sold. An executor would not have to do much at all, just pay and leftover bills with the savings and see about an estate sale for the stuff in storage. Not sure what the state would do.
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Thank you all for your input. The state is MD and the trust is a special needs trust set up by her parents for her benefit. The balance of the trust goes to her brother when she dies, and the trust closes. She has some savings, the contents of her house in storage, and the furniture and effects she has in her AL apartment and in my basement and garage, all of which are outside the trust and would have to be dealt with.

The family members I have approached are unable and/or unwilling. My friend was adamant about not wanting her brother to be POA for her, she doesn't trust him; don't know if I can talk her into naming him executor. But we should at least have that conversation. Again, I thank you all.
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If you own property with someone and one of the owners dies intestate, the state may sell the property to liquidate funds and distribute the assets to remaining relatives. That means you will be out of the home and not have control over how assets will be handled. The time to ask your friend to get a trust or even a will is TODAY.
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If your friend has the time and ability to make a will, I would try to have her make one. If she dies intestate (without a will), then the state where she lives has a law on how to distribute her assets to her blood relatives. I would try to find how her state handles people who pass without a will. It varies state to state.
Good Luck.
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Ginach is correct. It is called a pour over will and basically optional. Everything goes to her heir and he can dole out whatever he wants to. You can move on. Her setting up a trust was very proactive on her part, far from lack of planning as indicated when people pass 'intestate'. Also, as pointed out every state is different, but where we live - and we do have a trust as set up by an estate planning attorney and annually review and update things - the actual will is not even required to be notarized. It is a simple page that has lines for items, names, addresses of where those people live and that's it. So if she has a trust, I would ask a lawyer what she needs as far as a form for that 'pour over' will. He/she can provide you with that form, you can ask your friend if there's anything she wants to put down and that is the end of it. The trust is the BIGGIE and she's taken care of that. Good for her. It should make your life easier and no, you are not neglecting what she asked of you. You are a good friend.
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What I was trying to say about wills above is that a trust makes a simple will fairly optional and will keep everything out of probate. If you are the trustee of her trust, your job will be fairly cut and dried. Whomever she named as her heir(s) will get whatever property she has left and they will have to divide it. Not your problem.
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If your friend has a trust, as you indicate, that covers the will. The real estate is normally rolled into the trust and the actual will is for property, such as jewelry, household items that are special to one person or another, etc. If there is no real estate or valuable property to speak of, a will isn't really needed. Also, if accounts (savings and checking) were JTROS then both or all signers are equally able to write a check and empty the account. People get confused sometimes about the will thing. For example, my now deceased MIL had a will that had been written years ago with both her sons (one is my husband) as joint on everything. Also both were POA and joint executors. I won't get into the issues joint everything can create but, be that as it may, her home was sold when she went into a nursing home. All of her goods were given away or sold in an estate sale, so really all that was left were a few insignificant (from a value standpoint) personal items, like her wedding ring, and her bank accounts and some stock. She continued to believe that since her will stated that everything would basically be split between the brothers, that applied to her accounts. My husband and I prepared for retirement but BIL outright said he didn't. And he had control of her physical check book and lived in town where she did. At any time either of the brothers could have cleaned out all accounts; not just because they were POA but also they were joint with rights of survivorship. We didn't totally trust BIL but that is aside. Wills are for basically real property and physical valuables. If something has an emotional connection to a particular person, that needs to be written down. But a trust will cover everything, including real estate, and then the individual go into the will. Does this help?
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Everything will go backtoestate orProbater. Try to get a will done. Incases some familymember happen toshow up. Get alawyer very soon.My keys get stick.
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If there are no surviving relatives and you are not mentioned depending on the state,it goes to the state and anyone has to "battle it out" in court..just make sure there is a will...good luck
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Sometimes when there is a trust, there is a small pour over will as well. My understanding is that if all your friend's assets are in the trust, there is no need for a will. Check with the attorney who drew up the trust.
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If you are her friend you should make sure there is a will. It will make things so much easier for you . If you don't want anything ,then just donate it to a worthy cause. There are organizations that will help you. I know you are tired . I am in that place now only with my mom. Trust God to help you . Is your friend sick or close to death?
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The distribution of assets for a person who dies without a will (dies "intestate") is governed by state law. Therefore, the answer to your question depends on which state the friend dies a resident of. Probate is the process where a Will exists and is admitted to the Court; in New York, Administration is the process where someone dies without a Will. Contacting an attorney familiar with probate/administration is important. In addition, because you are Trustee, you may have heightened fiduciary responsibilities, depending upon the law in your state. Best of luck!
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Does she have any other relatives/ siblings?
If so, and if they want to put up a fight over assets then there will be complications.
No will = probate. And in a lot of cases, even if there is a will it will go to probate, so a will is not the magic it once was.
My advise is to see a lawyer before you get dragged into anything by some whacked out friend or relative of your friend. Just washing your hands may not be as easy as you think,
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