Shelly and Doris were retired flight attendants who lived in Lafayette. They’d never met during their careers, but now that they were retired, they’d become great friends and loved to laugh and share stories over a glass of wine.
When Shelly went into the hospital for routine surgery and died from complications, it left Doris shocked and lost without her best friend. Shelly was only 64, and she’d left a handwritten Will but no Living Trust. Shelly had lost her sister and brother-in-law in a terrible skiing accident 15 years ago, but she was very close to their four children, especially her niece, Karen, and she’d named Karen the Executor in her Will. But without a Trust, the family would have to go through Probate.
Doris was shocked to learn that Shelley had more than $320,000 in a Fidelity account
Over the years, Shelly had made smart investments in Apple, Wells Fargo and Microsoft. The Fidelity account had no named beneficiaries, so it would have to go through Probate. As Executor, Karen would oversee the estate’s distribution among her designated family members.
Karen was a teacher who knew nothing about Probate, so she contacted a Probate attorney to help manage her aunt’s estate. After 18 months, when the court finally awarded the money to the family, the attorney charged nearly $10K for managing the Probate.
After this experience, Doris felt some urgency to create estate planning documents
Doris didn’t have kids or siblings. She had Social Security and a great pension, but she didn’t have family or close friends she could ask for help if she became incapacitated. Shelly’s niece Karen and her husband Kevin had moved in to Shelly’s condominium, and they’d become close, so she asked Karen for advice. Karen said she would be glad to be there for Doris, and Kevin agreed to be her backup.
Doris created a Living Trust with California Document Preparers
Doris came in to the Walnut Creek office to create her Living Trust. As part of her Living Trust package, she also created a Financial Power of Attorney, an Advance Healthcare Directive and a Will. Notary is included in the fee. Doris is leaving Karen and Kevin 20% of her estate; the balance will go to the church she has been attending for more than 20 years, Lafayette’s St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church.
During this health crisis, many are feeling an urgency to create Living Trusts
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