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September 13, 2023 at 5:03 pm #89430USER
My exhusband passed away unexpectedly a week and a half ago. He has no will or trust set up. We have minor children together. He never remarried. The original plan was for his mother to become executor of his estate but after we met with a lawyer (I still get along very well with his parents) they told us that if I petitioned the court to be executor it would only take about 2 months versus if she did it it could take up to 6-8 months (she also lives 10 hours away). Neither of us paid the other child support. We got along really well and we would just split costs.
From what we have been able to learn so far, his estate has a value of several hundred thousand dollars. In addition, my children will receive SS survivor benefits. My husband and I do pretty well for ourselves and won’t really need the extra money to ensure the care of the kiddos is covered. There will be some things that are more expensive that we will use some of the money to cover (competive sports, braces, etc.).
I am unsure of the best way to invest the funds for them to set them up for success in the future. I am working with an estate lawyer to set up trusts, etc once I become thr executor but I am feeling very stressed about making sure this money is invested/used in the best way possible to set my children up for success in the future.
Should I find a financial planner? Should I set aside money for certain things in their future? (College, wedding if they have them, down payment on a first home).
I appreciate any constructive advice.September 13, 2023 at 5:05 pm #89431Michael
I feel bad for the kids. Even though you divorced, it sounds like you had a good relationship, and he was most likely great with the kids.
It is probably pretty hard on them.
I know that you want to do the best things for the kids future, but since it was less than 2 weeks ago, and it was unexpected, my advice is to slow down a bit. Focus on family.
It may make sense to be co-executor. If your relationship with the family is that strong, even talk with the family lawyer for his/her advice.
It isn’t bad to even take 6 months to a year after you finally do receive the willed money before you chose to place it.
I’ve seen too many people want to rush into choices. Sometimes time makes decisions easier.
And, as someone who is also divorced, if my ex passed away, I would also greatly feel the loss. I feel for your loss too.September 13, 2023 at 5:05 pm #89432Donna
Several hundred thousand dollars: I would probably buy each kid a townhome paid in full – each month there will be a rental income, that income can be invested to 529 or brokerage and they also have survivorship benefits to add to that.
I would rather see a physical investment seeing that it didn’t go anywhere, it will also appreciate.
When they get older they can either live in them or continue renting them out for income or further studies or sell it and use the money to buy their forever home.September 13, 2023 at 5:06 pm #89433André
Sorry for your loss, and the wave of new and unexpected obligations and emotions pending. You can and will get through this. Quick thoughts as you consider next steps:
1) Be patient. There are a host of moving parts here that you will and won’t be able to anticipate.
2) You’ll need to confirm executor status in probate before negotiating how much space you have to decide estate matters. Great that you and parents have good relations but judge may have some thoughts on this in removing potential conflicts of interest as a former/ex spouse. Estate being uncontested may allow smoother flow, but if contested probate laws of your state may dictate how certain asset classes are brokered and allocated between minor kids and other heirs.
3) Give yourself grace-probate will need to reconcile both debts and assets of the estate to final numbers. These may be different than original projections.
4) Consideration of financial planner-May make more sense once probate has been finalized and you have a sense of what you’re working with. There are other posts in this group that speak to selection and fees. Having professional support may be helpful in making objective decisions that anticipate needs and expected milestones in financing your kids futures.