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about it a week in advance to make sure her schedule was clear. She was so surprised and excited!
In fact, we enjoyed giving her this gift so much, we’re telling her about another one at the same time you’re reading this newsletter …
We left the day after Christmas, and had the extra magic of a couple of inches of snow to enhance the glow of five million lights on display in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge! The surprises didn’t end there, either. Our daughter, Meredith, was the only one of our girls home for Christmas this year, but had to leave Christmas evening to be with family in South Carolina. When she found out what we were planning, she
Mom has always wanted to take an extended train trip. Since I book Rocky Mountaineer in conjunction with Viking’s Alaska sailings, we thought we should personally experience their highly rated vacations so I can better represent it to our clients. So, Mom, keep your calendar free, as sometime this summer you’ll be taking a Rocky Mountaineer first-class rail journey with us!
wanted to be part of the gift as well. The next evening, she drove three hours — through snow-covered mountains — and knocked on the door. It was a great fun to see Mom’s delight as her Christmas gift continually unfolded before her eyes. We spent two days wandering around shops, eating at her favorite restaurants, snacking on delicious fudge and driving around at night to see the lights.
More details to follow, and of course, I’ll be reporting back on how that surprise turned out as well!
Advice from Someone Married to An Estate Planning Attorney —Carol Shaddix
3. Bank Statements and Passwords — Put the name of the trust on the bank account so that the trust owns it, and that will make things so much easier for your heirs. Then — whether you have a trust or not — make it an annual habit to put a copy of your most recent bank statements (along with updated passwords) in a safe place. Without a digital assets provision in your power of attorney (POA) and wills, your heirs may have difficulty accessing important financial information (not to mention photos from your Viking cruises!) on your phone or computer. It’s much easier if they don’t have to use a POA to access your records. These are easy things to take care of now, and will prevent a lot of headaches for your family in the future.
Yes, that would be me ... I joke that Doug helps people protect their money, and I help them spend it! Doug has a great heart, so often widows will reach out to him for help when their estates are gnarled up in probate. He doesn’t do probate work, but tries to give general advice, and help them steer clear of the types of attorneys who might take advantage of their situation. So, take some tips from a bystander who has heard some heartbreaking stories — most of which could have been prevented with just a little advance planning. 1. Get a Trust — No, it’s not just for the ultra-rich, and it can save your heirs both time and money, while
shielding them from the confusion and public exposure probate causes. A trust is a living document, and — unlike a will — future changes can be easily made without the need for an attorney so that your wishes can be kept up to date. (And, provided you’re not using a high-and-mighty law firm, trusts are not that expensive, either.) 2. Check for These Six Most Important Words — right now — go check the warranty deed to your home to see if it says “Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship.” (It’s probably in the second paragraph). If it doesn’t have those magic words, your spouse can’t legally sell or refinance the property after you’re gone until a court date is set and the case goes before a judge for review.
2 • www.ImagineGoingThere.com
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