When The Need is Trusts & Estates


Ann, divorced and retired, fully competent and very active, knew that she needed to update her will. She wanted it to reflect her new status, the adult children, grandchildren, and her changes in philanthropic goals.

90-year old Morry had initially engaged Gideon Schein to help him pay bills. Gideon was working regularly with Morry when the attorney suggested setting up a revocable trust. Gideon was enlisted to help.

Maureen had no children, but she did have nieces and nephews, some to whom she wanted to gift assets, and some she had not seen and to whom she did not want to give anything. The person who was Maureen's executor, power of attorney (“POA”), and health care proxy (“HCP”) was older than Maureen and not in good shape.


Eddy & Schein referred Ann to a Trusts & Estates (“T&E”) attorney. Then Rebecca began collecting the financials Ann would need to share with the attorney. Ann met with him and together they outlined her goals and to whom she wanted to leave her multi-million dollar estate.

When the will and trust documents arrived in Ann’s home, they sat, unread, on her desk. During Rebecca’s next visit, she asked Ann if she had reviewed the documents or whether they should go over them together. They read the documents from start to finish, made notes of changes Ann wanted and questions she had. They then called her attorney and both Ann and Rebecca discussed with him Ann's concerns. Once the attorney had clarified and made changes, Ann was able to sign her will and trust documents.

First Gideon identified the five investment firms and the three banks Morry used for savings and checking accounts. Next Gideon and Morry went from bank to bank to open up accounts in the name of the revocable trust, transfer the assets out of Morry’s name into the trust, and close the old accounts.

This sounds simpler than it turned out to be. Gideon discovered that many bankers had no clue what a revocable trust was or how to open an account for a revocable trust, and Gideon had to work his way up the ranks until he found a knowledgeable person. With perseverance all the accounts were renamed and Morry’s safety net was in place.

While Morry was able, he signed checks as one of the two trustees of the trust. Once Morry was unable to sign checks, Gideon continued to write the checks and then sent them to the second trustee for his signature and mailing. It was a smooth transition.

First Rebecca worked with Maureen to outline a family tree to give to the attorney and to identify people to be her executor, POA, HCP, and a back-up for each. Then Rebecca helped her choose an attorney to draw up the documents, going with her to the attorney’s office. Before long all the documents were drafted and signed. Maureen could breathe easier knowing that she had proxies in place in case she became ill, and the specific nieces and nephews she had chosen would receive her assets at her death.

June 2012 - FEATURE
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