Prepare Your Estate Plan Case Study 3

Personal Finance August 18, 2008 Print Friendly and PDF

Contents

Case Study 3 - The disadvantages of writing your own will

Description

Eddie, age 70, decides to write his own will. He is a widower and had four children and eight grandchildren. Two of his children, Rob and Pete, are unmarried and have no children. Kate, his oldest child, is married and has two children while Mark, his youngest child, has six children. Mark, who was married, is deceased. Eddie borrows some language from an old legal textbook and he leaves everything equally to his children who survive him and to the descendants of his children who predecease him, per capita. Kate and a neighbor witness Eddie's will, signing on lines directly below his name.

Questions

1. How old does Eddie have to be to sign a will?

___ A. 16
___ B. 18
___ C. 21
___ D. It doesn't matter what age.

2. Eddie has disinherited his oldest child, Kate.

___ True
___ False

3. Eddie has disinherited Kate's children.

___ True
___ False

4. At Eddie's death, his distributable net estate (what is left after taxes, expenses, and creditors) will be divided under his will:

___ A. in four equal shares, with Mark's share going to his six children
___ B. in three equal shares, with Mark's share going to his six children
___ C. in nine equal shares going to Kate, Rob, Pete, and Mark's six children.

5. Assume that Eddie's neighbor, who witnessed the will, dies before Eddie. As a result, Eddie's will likely will be declared invalid after Eddie passes on.

___ True
___ False

6. Eddie's will could be admitted to probate, in spite of his neighbor's death, if:

___ A. Kate had not witnessed it
___ B. it had been self-proved (witnesses signed a brief statement that was then notarized)
___ C. the other witness, Kate, could provide an affidavit that she had witnessed the will
___ D. B and C

7. If Eddie's will is not declared valid during the probate process, his distributable net estate will be divided according to state intestacy statutes:

___ A. in four equal shares, with Mark's share going to his six children
___ B. in three equal shares, with Mark's share going to his six children
___ C. in eight equal shares going to Rob, Pete, and Mark's six children
___ D. in 11 equal shares going to Rob, Pete, Kate, Kate's two children, and Mark's six children

8. Assume that Kate, his oldest child, also dies before Eddie. If Eddie's will is not admitted to probate, his distributable net estate will be divided:

___ A. in four equal shares, with Mark's share going to his six children
___ B. in three equal shares, with Mark's share going to his six children
___ C. in 10 equal shares going to Rob, Pete, Mark's six children, and Kate's two children
___ D. in four equal shares, with the shares of Kate and Mark being added together and divided equally among their eight children

9. Eddie would have been better off without his do-it-yourself will.

___ True
___ False

10. Eddie attends an estate planning course at his local Cooperative Extension office, and he learns of the problems his do-it-yourself will may cause. He can revoke his will by:

___ A. signing a new will
___ B. destroying his will with the intent to revoke it
___ C. marking extensively through the will and writing corrections in the margin
___ D. all of the above
___ E. A and B

State-specific Answers to Case Study 3 Questions

Idaho

Iowa

Kentucky

North Dakota

South Dakota

Other Prepare Your Estate Plan Case Studies

See all Prepare Your Estate Plan Case Studies.

View the Prepare Your Estate Plan learning lesson.

Credits

Adapted for use in the Legally Secure Your Financial Future: Organize, Communicate, Prepare program.

Content Development by:
Carol A. Schwab, J.D., LL.M.,
Former Professor and Extension Specialist, North Carolina State University.

This document is for non-profit educational purposes only. This document may not be used by a profit-making company or organization. When used by a non-profit organization, appropriate credit must be given to the Cooperative Extension Legally Secure Your Financial Future: Organize, Communicate, Prepare education program. Materials for this program were developed by a team from six land-grant universities. The program is included in the program toolkit of the Cooperative Extension Financial Security in Later Life national initiative. For more information go to: http://www.csrees.usda.gov/fsll.