Before you speak, listen. Before you write, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you invest, investigate. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try. Before you retire, save. Before you die, give. William A. Ward
Don’t let this happen to you - a Story in Estate Planning
Sometimes spending a small sum of money for advance legal planning can save you a lot of money later.
Don’t let this happen to you! Husband received property from his father after a land division. Even though husband was married, his wife received no interest in the land from her father-in-law. Husband always intended to give his wife a share in the property but never got around to it. After husband passed on, wife was faced with what to do. Husband had about $30,000 in credit card debt in his name only. Wife was forced to file a Small Estates Probate and wait to see if the creditors file claims. If the creditors fail to file claims in 4 months from the date of filing the Small Estate, wife should be able to keep the property free and clear of any claim of the creditors. Wife will have spent about $1000 in attorney fees. If the creditors file claims, wife may have to pay them off, $30,000.00 out of the proceeds of the land sale which could bring in about $150,000.00.
Before death, husband could have recorded a deed, creating a Tenancy by the Entirety which places title to the land in his and wife’s name with a right of survivorship. Cost without a lawyer about $45.00, ($41.00 recording and $4.00 for Stevens-Ness Law Publishing deed form). With an attorney about $150.00, which includes recording the deed. If husband would have taken this route, the $30,000 credit cards would have been cut off at Husband’s death. Since at death, the property would vest in the survivor, wife, exclusive of any claims of the husband’s creditors.
If you have property in your name only and you want your spouse to receive it at death, call me today at (503) 363-7334 to discuss this and other estate planning concerns.