Follow
Share

After mom died this past year, dad (90) had the will rewritten in a much simpler fashion -- 50/50 split between my sister and I (except he has told me she gets his car since he is giving me my mom's car this month, which is fine with me, I'm not telling her so when the time comes she is going to be happily surprised).


Last week dad contacted his financial managing firm and had them draw up papers distributing gifts in perpetuity to a number of organizations, charities, and his sister, with the remainder being split between my sister and I. Wouldn't the will override this change to his financial account management? And does "in perpetuity" mean that my sister and I will have to continue giving gifts of a set amount to these organizations, charities, and his sister?


I'm so confused. But I am more concerned that my father is either confused himself or being taken for a ride. The lawyer was supposed to be involved in all these phone calls with the financial management firm but they said they couldn't get him conferenced in.


I told dad I want to speak to his lawyer and he asked me to wait until next week while he attempts to contact him again. My sister is under the impression that the lawyer may have washed his hands of my father since it appears dad doesn't take the lawyer's advice.

Find Care & Housing
A will doesn’t overrule everything. If there is an account set up with a beneficiary-such as a bank account or IRA, the account goes to beneficiary regardless of what the will says.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to worriedinCali
Report

GG, why are you putting up with physical abuse from your husband?
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
Report
graygrammie Feb 14, 2021
Because I didn't exit when I could have / should have. My kids will support me if I do, so that is good. A son lives with us, which is good (he's got my back) and bad (dh is very bitter toward him). How do you walk out now when you are so needed?
(0)
Report
GG, Replying to your reply to me.

I would have no issue walking out on a situatuon in which there was documented abuse

Each time he hits/pokes you, call 911 and have them transport him to hospital for a psych eval, or if not, simply doc that he has hit you.

You don't need to put up with this simply because he has dementia.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
Report

Papers drawn up distributing gifts in perpetuity means forever and ever. Unless there is a clause in this contract that states that when your father passes that these organizations, charities and his sister will stop receiving money. If they have access to his accounts and monies it would be lucrative for them to keep monies going to the above mentioned parties because they would also get a cut for managing said distribution of these funds.

As for the abusive husband Mrs. Gray Grammie won't be leaving him so there is no point to encourage her to do so. I am very sorry that the only way you will know freedom is when he passes.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to lissett
Report

If your dad has a lot of money and a lawyer, he probably has a trust, not only a will. Are you sure he doesn't have a trust?

A will tends to cover "stuff" not in the trust -- Mom's jewelry, the baseball card collection, cars that aren't titled in the trust, etc., and the trust would cover the financial stuff and big ticket items like real estate and cars. A large estate that only has a will is subject to probate, which isn't the best way to preserve one's funds. That's why people make trusts.

If he has enough money to be setting up gifts in perpetuity, I'll bet he has a trust. Also, his lawyer doesn't work for you and won't talk to you without Dad's permission.

I'm going to guess your dad just simplified the "stuff" part of his will by taking your mom's name off it (not necessary, but some folks do it anyway), and perhaps removing other bits and bobs he might have intended to leave to others. His sister might have been one of those people, and it sounds like he set up other arrangements for her.

It sounds a tad money-grubbing to be all concerned about this right at the moment unless your dad is not competent to be making these decisions, in which case you'd better get that documented by his doctor and the evidence taken to his attorney.

If he's competent, you can ask him if he has a trust, and he can tell you -- or not.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to MJ1929
Report
Frances73 Feb 15, 2021
I wouldn’t call it money grubbing. Trust me, it’s better to get this all straightened out while he is alive.
(2)
Report
Wills do not have any effect on assets that have named beneficiaries.

Sounds like your dad allocated specific accounts to be paid to charities as the named beneficiaries with a percentage of the value distributed annually, hence in perpetuity. This has nothing to do with what his will bequeathes to anyone else.

If you believe that he is unable to understand what he is doing then you should have a meeting with him and his attorney so that it can be explained and ensure that his wishes are what he actually set up.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal
Report
rovana Feb 14, 2021
Thanks for your explanation. Maybe I misunderstood the OP, but how can you pay in perpetuity unless the pool of money to be used is somehow set aside when the estate is settled? If it is just from a general type group of assets, then how do they figure what the remaindermen would get? I assuming that when the estate is divided up, some definite amounts have to be set aside or the people inheriting the remainder of the assets would not know what the remainder actually is. Anyone know how this works?
(0)
Report
See 3 more replies
I agree with RR that this sounds a mess, and you and Sister need to meet with Dad and Lawyer to discuss what Dad did. First of all is Dad diagnosed with dementia or is he competent mentally and handling his own finances. Because if the latter you aren't much involved in any of this at all anyway. If Dad is competent is to be the question. What he is doing with his money now depends upon it.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to AlvaDeer
Report

I’m not at all sure about the accuracy of ‘Wills do not have any effect on assets that have named beneficiaries’. Wills don’t have any effect on gifts that have already been given, but promises to make gifts are not normally binding, even if in writing. Perhaps there is ‘consideration’, which makes it a binding contract to pay later. Perhaps these ‘gifts’ have been tied up in some other way, via trusts etc. However ‘in perpetuity’ is also a very unusual statement. I would at least do some double checking on the qualifications and competence of this ‘financial managing firm’. Accountants shouldn't be getting mixed up with wills. Estate planning normally needs a lawyer, not a financial manager.

Complex arrangements to tie things up are usually only appropriate in very large estates. The simplest answer is that either this is not competent, or that your father doesn’t understand or remember. Take these documents to the lawyer, preferably before father signs them (although he can always get rid of them on the lawyer’s advice).

Lawyers will usually keep going if they are getting paid, but if this is a small estate, your father wants complex arrangements and then changes his mind, your sister may be right and the lawyer may think it’s all a waste of time. Get it sorted out and try to convince Father that it can’t be changed again.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to MargaretMcKen
Report
Isthisrealyreal Feb 14, 2021
Named beneficiaries in the US bypass wills and probate. The asset isn't even listed in a good will, because it is NOT part of the estate, it has already been gifted prior to death upon death.

It is legally binding to handle assets this way.
(5)
Report
I think your supposition that your father may be "taken for a ride" has merit, unless he has an extensive estate with a very high value.  Still, if your father doesn't get a more definite answer from the existing attorney, find another to review what the one who couldn't get conferenced in has prepared.   And why couldn't he be conferenced in?   

It's also a bit troubling that your father is apparently having trouble getting in touch with this attorney.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to GardenArtist
Report

In Ohio, as I am finding out, individual accounts that have beneficiaries take precedence over what the will states. For instance Mom's will left her "estate" to be divided between her four children or their children if deceased. But her bank account, life insurance, and IRA all have specific beneficiaries named. And each institution has it's own set of paperwork for each heir to fill out to receive their share. I even had to submit a copy of my brother's death certificate so his daughter can receive his portion.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Frances73
Report
worriedinCali Feb 15, 2021
All of the accounts with beneficiaries “pass outside the estate” as you now know. That is why they aren’t governed by the will, they aren’t part of the estate.
(0)
Report
See 2 more replies
See All Answers
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter