Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX X'm an Estate Law attorney here to assist you.
What is your question with regard to the above?
No, this is the "estate law" category. If you'll notice at the top of the page it says "Estate Law" by the JustAnswer symbol.
I am an estate lawyer and have a large practice dealing with wills, estates and probate.
Ok. There's a lot of information and documents identified or mentioned in the post, which I assume is an excerpt from a letter you received from your estate attorney.
Also without physically reviewing all of the documents, I can't give you a specific response as to what each document says or will do in this instance.
That said, my review of the information available basically outlines a plan where the surviving spouse (upon the death of the other spouse), will receive all right title and interest in all property owned by the deceased at the time of death.
So, if the either the mother or father dies first, the other spouse will take everything under the trust and will. Once both parents are deceased, the daughter would inherit everything under the documents.
Also, there is a right for either spouse to transfer certain items to anyone they desire, etc. (Article 2.2).
The balance of the letter is basically telling you that the documents are set up in a way to minimize tax liability to the estate and to the surviving spouse.
If you have a specific question about a specific provision, please let me know and I'll be glad to address that.
... authority for another to complete financial transactions (universal power). This avoids the necessity of going to a Probate or County Court to petition for Guardianship of the Estate if one spouse becomes unable to complete financial transactions. It reduces delays, expenses, the emotional trauma, etc. when one spouse has reduced capacity.
Under Texas law the power requires less formalities to delegate (no witnesses aside from Notary Public, and one does not have to file the document with the County Clerk). You can elect to make the power effective now, or only if you are disabled [See; Page 2, (A) or (B)]. In addition the drafts reflect the option to nominate daughter as Attorney-in-Fact “back-up” if you are both disabled (PLEASE ADVISE AS TO PREFERENCES.).
The Power of Attorney has a provision whereby the holder can gift assets from your estate (for tax-planning purposes). The holder of the power can delegate authority to others (Attorneys, CPA, etc.) to manage specific matters directly. These additional clauses give the Attorney in Fact more power and flexibility in managing financial affairs. If you ever have a lack of trust in the person that you delegate to hold the power, the document and all copies should be destroyed.
MEDICAL POWER OF ATTORNEY
A medical proxy gives to the person, to the extent that you delegate, the power to make medical decisions for your benefit. This medical treatment comprises a very broad range of healthcare decisions that affect the person delegating the power, but does not include voluntary inpatient mental health services, shock treatment, psycho- surgery or abortion. This document is revocable orally or by written decree. The power of the person whom you have delegated as an agent begins when your physician certifies that you lack the capacity to make health care decisions. The draft reflects the option of naming someone else as “back-up” if you are both unable to communicate medical decisions.
PLEASE ADVISE AS TO “BACK-UP” AGENTS - PROVIDE ADDRESSES/ CONTACT INFO
DIRECTIVE TO PHYSICIANS
This document does not direct estate distribution, but rather expresses your personal preferences as to the point when life support machines should not be connected or be disconnected (includes hydration and nutrition). This eases the burden on the family as to that decision, as well as protecting the medical attendants from potential legal liability if the decision is necessary. Of course, this decision is revocable by destroying the document.
The newer form of the Directive attempts to address more circumstances where the extraordinary methods of life support are addressed (beyond the ‘brain death’ threshold of the older form). On page 1 is highlighted a sentence that has caused much distress with family and health care attendants, as the sentence is inconsistent with the Act.
PLEASE ADVISE AS TO YOUR ELECTIONS ON PAGE 1 (INITIALS) AND WHETHER YOU WANT THE
HIGHLIGHTED SENTENCE AFTER “ADDITIONAL REQUESTS” INCLUDED OR OMITTED
HEALTH INSURANCE PORTABILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY ACT AUTHORIZATION
Recent federal legislation has placed severe restrictions on the exchange of medical information between entities and people (limited to patient). The authorization would assure that those you designate to hold a Medical Power of Attorney have access to sufficient information to make informed decisions on medical care.
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
This party is providing separate, distinct legal services for you as a married couple. This office will be representing you in a joint capacity and will freely exchange information between and among ourselves. If it becomes clear that your interests are no longer coordinated, this party will inform you of such conflict and stop representing all parties in the transaction.
COSTS OF PROFESSIONAL SERVICES:
The fees to draft, edit, and review the above cited documents are (assume 2 documents each):
UCT Will * (2) (discounted) $___
Universal Durable Power of Attorney (2) $___
Medical Power of Attorney (2) $___
HIPAA authorization (2) $___
Directive to Physicians (2) $___
* The drafts presented both have the marital / family trust formula. This would provide more assurance for the testator/ testatrix of who final beneficiaries will be - certain what the “exemption amount” will be after 2012 compared with specific values of your community or separate property estates. The amount charged is for the single (exemption amount/ family trust) we discussed in our meeting.
A drafting fee of $___ is due to prepare the above specified documents and will be credited against the total professional fee for the documents.
The documents will be placed into final draft within three to seven days after your input, editing and approval to be ready for execution with the requisite formalities. The fee balance (less drafting fee) for the approved documents will be due at that time. After you have reviewed the documents, please contact me so that we can further discuss the documents, edit and clarify the language.
No problem, the question was …
OK, I think I understand Power of Attorney.
Now back to your original take on cover letter.
Giving you the benefit of the doubt, because you did say you have not read the attached docs (the wills), you wrote …
“If the either mother or father dies first, the other spouse will take everything under the trust and will.”
Confirm then if these are true statements …
- If mother dies first everything goes to father.
- Then father meets and marries new woman
- Then Father sets up new legal estate docs with new woman
- Daughter is then not provided for
Then confirm if these would be true statements …
- There’s one caveat at protecting daughter
- If mother clearly defines in HER will to give daughter a widget
Then confirm this statement …
- BUT, even if mother clearly defines to give daughter a widget, under (Article 2.2) father has right (obviously while he is alive) in HIS will to transfer ½ of his ownership in widget to anyone he desires.
Thanks for the follow-up. I'll answer your questions based on what we have read and been over so far:
* Yes, if mother dies first everything goes to father or in accordance with the terms of the trust.
* If the father meets a new woman, the terms of the trust will still be in effect. A remarriage should not effect the trust and the bequest to the daughter.
*The father can change his will to leave property to his new wife, but that would only pertain to his property that is not a part of the trust. Whatever is in the trust would flow to the daughter in accordance with the trust terms.
* Yes, even if mother clearly defines to give daughter a widget, under (Article 2.2) father has right (obviously while he is alive) in HIS will to transfer ½ of his ownership in widget to anyone he desires. The way to combat this is to have both the mother and father's will state what the daughter is to get OR the property could be placed into the trust for ownership and the trust could disburse this item upon the death of the first parent.
I think I addressed everything. If not, let me know. Thanks.
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