Muriel & Herb’s Estate Plan
At Heffner & Associates, we often point out to our clients “It’s never too late.” But when parents have developed a plan for their estate well ahead of time, it’s a pleasure for us to watch the results unfold for their children in exactly the way their parents had hoped.
Take, for example, Muriel and her husband, Herb who had come to see us for their estate planning. They knew that when they passed away, they would likely be leaving a home and some assets to their three children. So together we formed a plan that included a Living Trust, which included a retitling of their home and most of their assets. In this Living Trust, they nominated their daughter, Susan, as their successor Trustee. As the years went by, knowing there was a plan in place for when they were gone gave Muriel and Herb peace of mind.
Several years later, Herb passed away, and Muriel’s death came four years afterwards. We set up a meeting with Susan to discuss the estate. Susan came to that first meeting expecting that we’d be going over the probate process and all the unpleasant details on how long it would take and how much it would cost. Instead, because of her parents’ forethought, we were able to tell Susan that no probate was required!
We worked closely with Susan over the next several months, advising her on her role as Successor Trustee, working with the brokerage firm that held her parents’ account, and representing her in the sale of their home. Finally, we guided Susan through the distribution of Muriel and Herb’s assets to herself and her two brothers, and then terminated the Trust. After hearing so many stories about how complicated and sometimes messy estates can be, Susan was surprised and relieved at how smoothly the process of settling her parents’ estate went.
Muriel and Herb wanted things to be as easy and straightforward as possible for Susan after their passing, and it was important to them that their assets were distributed as efficiently as possible to all of their children. It was therefore gratifying for us to counsel Susan in carrying out their plans, knowing we were helping to ensure that Muriel and Herb’s wishes were fulfilled.