What to do if to do a Will and have one child only so I will leave my money to him?

UPDATED: Jul 22, 2013

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What to do if to do a Will and have one child only so I will leave my money to him?

I have all my financial statements put as POD to my son to avoid probate. However, do you advise to leave approximately $30,000 not as a POD to pay funeral expenses and any other remaining expenses? If I do this, doesn’t that mean that this amount will go through probate and the lawyer pays the remaining bills, which means there will be additional lawyer costs? I personally feel that all should be POD to my son and he can pay the remaining bills from the money he inherited. Could you offer your opinion on this please?

Asked on July 22, 2013 under Estate Planning, Wisconsin


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

SOunds like you are trying to do some estate planning here which is a good thing.  But this type of forum does not lend itself to the specifics that are necessary to complete this task. There are a few ways that you can avoid probate, one of which  - the POD accounts - you have already done. There are also trusts.  Another would be to pre-pay your funeral so all is done now.  But yes, leaving any money that is not clearly earmarked can lead to probate.  If the amount falls under a small estate then there would likely be a quick way to probate that may not require an attorney but will require taxes filed, etc.  Maybe speaking with an attorney now would save the money later.  Good luck.

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