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View Diary: You Think You Have a Will & a Well Ordered Estate (19 comments)

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  •  Remember that state laws vary (4+ / 0-)

    Where I live, the validity of the original will would have nothing to do with whether a lawyer can vouch for it.  Original wills are kept in safe places -- perhaps in a lawyer's office; or they can be filed at the courthouse. Personally -- and professionally, I think leaving it with the lawyer's office is the least attractive option. My elderly clients call with similar stories involving lawyers who died/retired/moved 20 years ago+.  A trust certainly is a good option for people who have the means to pay an attorney. Of course, the intestate laws do reflect the wishes of many, many people. Joint ownership and payable-on-death beneficiaries go a long way to keeping some assets out of the probate process. People considering transfers should consider the timing and whether the Medicaid transfer-of-assets rules are a concern.

    Sorry it was/is such a hassle!

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