Bequeathing PM's in your will

Discussion in 'Wealth Creation & Management' started by Ag bullet, Aug 15, 2017.

  1. Ag bullet

    Ag bullet Well-Known Member

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    I might have asked about this on the old forum but can't find it on the search function.

    What's the best way to bequeath PM's and such to someone without grubberment involvement? Can i write a letter containing instructions on where to find my stack and other instructions on how to distribute/manage my stack etc and include it with our wills? I want to be able to leave my stack to my kids in the event that my partner and i simultaneously predecease them. The instructions on how to find it would be such that the only the executor would understand the instructions. ( i don't trust that the executor won't be the only person to read it though this is my wish. solicitors etc might read it??) Can I include an envelope or something with our wills that contains instructions for the executor but can only be read by them in such an event? Can I include a clause in our wills that states that the contents of the envelope are only to be opened and read by the executor in the specific event of both of us predeceasing the kids. Plus other instructions in the letter stating what to do with the stack according to whether the kids are still minors or of age.

    I just want to be able to direct the executor to my stack and administer it if the kids are minors and the kids to it if they are over 18 should we both predecease them. All without legal disclosure.

    Can I do this?
     
  2. Ag bullet

    Ag bullet Well-Known Member

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    After thought- any instructions with what to do can be left with the stack for the executor to find in the event. Only need to leave instructions on how to find it with the will itself, in such event.
     
  3. hyphenated

    hyphenated Active Member

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    I would guess you have three routes:

    Declare everything as an annex, which you will need to regularly update (get taxed);
    Put it all in a safe deposit vault;
    Provide breadcrumbs for a treasure hunt for family heirlooms held on- or off-site. If you have picked 'Laughing Gnome' as your cremation music, you could make this a competitive event to remember at your wake.

    The one thing you probably don't want to do is bury/hide/camouflage your stack without leaving clear instructions to your inheritors on how to reverse the process. That way leads to gold coins in landfill or newspaper articles on hoards found decades later.

    I am in no way condoning tax evasion, of course.
     
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  4. Big A.D.

    Big A.D. Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    I've had to go through the process of sorting through someone's stuff and financial affairs after they passed away, so from someone's who's been where you kids might potentially be one day...

    The people you leave behind will be grieving. People don't think clearly when they're grieving. Don't try to be too clever or someone will skip over a step in your cunning plan by mistake, everything will get confused and they'll give up or let someone else deal with it. You can't get out of dying, you can't avoid the practicalities that come with it and the people you leave behind will end up resenting you for making your affairs difficult and overly complicated to deal with.

    The government doesn't actually get that involved with deceased estates and there's plenty of room to deal with things privately. The tax treatment of inherited property is really quite favorable, so it would be worth doing some reading up on it, or seeking professional advice. You can describe your stack as "personal items and valuables" when talking to a solicitor and that's a generic enough term that they'll be able to give you advice on how to make arrangements without you giving away too much detail. You could talk about watches and jewellery instead if you like and the advice will be be equally applicable. They'll be used to talking about small, valuable heirlooms that are usually kept hidden away in a safe place.

    In my humble opinion, the biggest risk to your estate shrinking isn't the government, it's that parts of it it won't be found, will be disposed of badly if it is and/or your kids will fritter the money away on stupid stuff (on one hand they're entitled to do that but, on the other hand, it's a terrible waste of potential). People are generally pretty bad at assessing risk so try not to get too hung up on remote possibilities. Okay, shit happens and it's possible you'll get hit by a bus or something but, for example, the leading cause of death for Australian males aged 25-44 is suicide (and, therefore, I am actually my own worst risk). Have a plan, keep it simple, don't stress.

    Your executor is legally able to sign off on stuff to do with your estate, but that doesn't mean they'll actually be any good at administering it. There's a shedload of paperwork involved and dealing with it takes time. Mistakes can be made, some things might not get followed up on, the executor has their own life to get on with, etc. Try to make their job as easy as possible because they're doing you a hell of a favor. Keep a list of bank accounts, life insurance policies, share trading accounts, unallocated metal accounts, etc. - anything that you wouldn't want excluded from your estate and assuming it's being managed by someone who's grieving, stressed, a little bit out of their depth and pressed for time.

    If you have different instructions for how your kids' inheritance should be handled before and after they turn 18, have a pre-18 will and write a new one when the first one turns 18 and then rewrite it again when the second one reaches 18. It's more work, it's a pain in the arse, but administering your life is an ongoing process so you can't really just "set and forget" if circumstances are going to change.

    Yes, you can bequeath "the contents on my safety deposit box to my son Jack, including the personal effects and papers therein to be dealt with by him, alone, as he sees fit". Most people will assume it contains evidence Jack was secretly adopted or there's photos of an illicit affair you had with a circus midget, but they'll understand it's private and leave it alone.

    Some things you might want to consider:

    - Having an enduring Power of Attorney/Living Will drawn up in case you get hit by a bus but end up a vegetable rather than six feet under. It happens and it's actually a worse scenario than you being killed outright for everyone around you (believe me) because they can't really grieve properly if you're brain-dead and hooked up to a ventilator. Maybe think about asking to be kept "alive" long enough for the doctors to find new homes for your organs and then let your family pull the plug and get on with things. Personally, I reckon that's a pretty decent thing to do on your way out, but think about it and talk to your family about it too - they'll probably have to give the word before they get a chance to go through all your paperwork and there's no benefit to anyone in keeping your organ donor status a secret.

    - Having enough low-premium stuff close to hand that selling it at spot minus 5% tomorrow will pay for your funeral. Taking $5k or so off the bill will be a huge weight off whoever is left behind if money is a bit tight for them and having a million dollars tied up in probate for six months is nice but not helpful when they're trying to pay an undertaker. You might also consider keeping the "burial fund" as cash or in a bank account that your kids or executor can access quickly and easily, such as a joint account that you agree won't ever be touched unless you die, but that's different kettle of fish.

    - Writing a letter to your kids and keeping it with the stack explaining what the stack is. If they don't know what it is, the first thing they're going to think is "This is mum's/dad's old coin collection. Maybe it's worth something..." And then they'll take it off to a coin dealer who makes their money buying deceased estate lots for 10c on the dollar. Explain how to find/calculate the spot value of the items so people know (roughly) what the floor price should be so they won't get totally ripped off when disposing of it, but also try to describe or list the contents and explain the difference between:
    - Generic, low premium stuff
    - Rare, high premium stuff
    - Novelty stuff you bought just because you like it

    Offloading the stuff with a 300% market premium for spot would be a shame (not a total loss, but if you can give people some guidance, do).

    - A note, kept with your stack, giving this forum's URL and your username (you might not want to state your password, but there have been a few cases where a member here has passed away with trades pending, so being able to get access to your PMs might be useful - the admins might have some advice on how they deal with these situations).

    - A note, kept with your stack, with contact details for forum members you trust to offer free and frank advice or assistance for someone who needs to offload your stack if you're not around. Again, there's been a few cases where people have sold deceased estates here and the forum members have generally been really helpful and shown a lot of goodwill in getting it cashed in. For what it's worth, I have reciprocal arrangements with a few people here who will help my family sell my stack and me theirs if one of us kicks the bucket. We just have notes left behind saying "In the event of my untimely demise, call XXXX on XXXX and they'll help you take care of things" and a few other details. You might agree that these people won't actually buy any of the stuff themselves so there aren't any conflicts of interest, or at least that they'll match or beat any fair market offer if there's one or two items that they do particularly want themselves.

    - Educating your kids about precious metals (pretty self-explanatory).

    - Talking to your kids about death and dying. Yeah, it's a bit of a downer, but it's going to happen anyway so you may as well take the opportunity while you're still alive to talk about it and what you hope will happen to you and your stuff. And them as well. Their lives are probably pretty important to you as well.

    Hope that's helpful.
     
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  5. SilverDJ

    SilverDJ Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely, most people (and likely your other half) will be clueless about what stuff is worth.
    Also explaining what you see the future holding for any of your stack/crypto/shares etc could be most valuable. i.e "This stock will be worth a fortune in 5 years, don't sell it now because..."
     
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  6. Ag bullet

    Ag bullet Well-Known Member

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    Most excellent advice. Thanks.
     
  7. JulieW

    JulieW Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Yes, excellent Big AD
     
  8. Ag bullet

    Ag bullet Well-Known Member

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    So include words to the effect- 'don't sell the silver because it's going to da moon'?
     
  9. SilverDJ

    SilverDJ Well-Known Member

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    Be sure to include a drawing of a rocket for dramatic effect.
     
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  10. Ag bullet

    Ag bullet Well-Known Member

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    Will it be the kids, grandkids or great grand kids that see it go for a rocket ship ride?
     
  11. SilverDJ

    SilverDJ Well-Known Member

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    Ha Ha Ha, that's funny, it's silver, it's just tarnishes :D
     
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  12. Ceallach

    Ceallach Member Silver Stacker

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    I am a bit late in responding to this thread, but here are my comments for what they are worth. My experience in administering my Mother's estate over the last few years has made me turn my mind to my own Estate recently (and as I start to feel my own mortality). I am also still jaded by the experience. Managing my Father's estate was simple as everything transferred to my Mother, including his stack/collections. He was an avid collector (who kept great records - very handy when the SHTF). When my Mother passed away three years later, she did not bequeath many specific items (including the collectibles/stack) and the remaining Estate was to be equally shared between myself and my six siblings (actually, she left two Wills and various notes that had no standing in the Court, but that's another complicated story that I could write a book about).

    To cut a long story short, reaching agreement on how to handle the distribution/sale of the Estate, including property and all valuables, was impossible other than putting everything into auction. There was little tolerance by some siblings to be a bit more considered with selling in order to realise a better price. Sadly, Estates can bring out the absolute worst in some folks, and my Mother was hardly cold before the knives came out (the day after her death in fact!). As the Executor, I eventually had no option other than to put everything into auction as any other way of disposing the assets was fraught (and I was already being accused of being shonky, even with a very high level of transparency - my 'reward' for trying to be inclusive and conciliatory). The lawyers ultimately won.

    I have learnt that it is really important to have a very carefully (legally) crafted Will written in simple English that is explicit about the gifts/items to be specifically bequeathed. Keep the Will up to date! It is useful to include reasons (in the Will) why someone has been left something (or not if that is the case) which will ensure the Executor (orCourt if there is future action) understands your wishes. Unless all beneficiaries can agree on distribution of items not specifically listed/bequeathed, it will need to be sold and the funds added to the Estate to be distributed in accordance with the Will. The Executor has no room to move on this. Notes left with the Will are essentially worthless if problems arise with the Estate management such as with problematic beneficiaries (and have little standing in the Courts). It must be kept formal if you want a cast iron guarantee of your wishes being implemented (even then there is no guarantee), so anything you want to happen (including the damn songs played at your funeral) need to be part of the Will.

    I would not wish to see my various collections being hocked through an auction (without my kids having the opportunity to keep them or sell in a manner that realises a reasonable profit) so I have had discussions with them and have specifically bequeathed/gifted pretty much my entire estate that has any value ($$ value and sentimental value). This ensures the Executor can't sell these off as part of the Estate, unless the recipient refuses the gift. I also maintain up to date itemised records as an addendum to my Will (necessary anyway for insurance etc). There is still no guarantee that the proverbial won't hit the fan after I have checked out, but I've had a good crack at helping it work.

    Communication would probably not have resolved the issues I had with several of my rather nasty/greedy brothers (who my Dad warned me about before he died - smart man!), but it may have helped. People don't like to talk about dying (or in fact, the care they want while they living) but its an important conversation. On the bright side, I have cut my Christmas card list down now and consider I now have two brothers and not six (and no longer feel their loss). And if anyone asks you to be an Executor, run for the hills!
     
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