I am a recent widow in my 80’s and would like to make certain I have everything in correct order, so my children will not have problems later. I would like to have a person they can refer to if needed. My husband and I had two irrevocable trusts which was common back in 1993. ( I know now, they should have been revocable) I am required to have two tax returns prepared (double expense) and restricted in how his money can be used. Any advice from you will be appreciated. Thank you
Terry Says: I’m sorry that happened, and obviously you need your own estate planning attorney to go forward. I’m wondering if what you had was a “marital trust” with restrictions on what you could do with that money. It’s hard to imagine that any attorney would create two IRREVOCABLE trusts. But you’ll have to ask your new lawyer.
So your real question is how to find a competent attorney. You don’t say where you live, so let me give you two online search tools:
The first is an estate planning, elder law online directory: http://search-attorneys.com/
The second is the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys: www.NAELA.org
Both allow you to search for a specialist near you. Or if you know of a bank trust department (other than the one involved with your current situation) you could ask them for a reference.
What’s most important is that you know in your mind exactly what you want distributed to your children or other heirs. Then you will want a Revocable Living Trust, a healthcare power of attorney, and a living will (end of life instructions). And you will want a copy of the last two documents for your doctor’s records.
Please write back if you need further direction.