Relocate to Wisconsin : Estates are Not Always the "Real" they are Believed

Estates are Not Always the "Real" they are Believed

 If this title sounds is meant to ....and hope that it leads you to reading this post.  Wills, Trusts, Life Estates are often the "elephant in the room" with families.  Everyone knows that they are there...somewhere...but no one ever elephant
discusses them in FULL and by everyone involved..or people who believe they are involved in one way or another.  

   There are always Assumptions....of course...your parentes would want this...your siblings would do that...Mom would have wanted me to have....Dad would never have given....the list is far longerWill and more emotionally entwined than any divorce.  The people known to each other for a lifetime suddenly become estranged heirlooms are nowhere to be found...houses are "emptied" of no longer exists and relationships are irretrievably broken.  If you believe that only happens in other families...and would never happen in your own..think again...your crystal ball could be a lot foggier than you ever dreamed possible.  Money and "things" change people...and beyond that...Far beyond that often the needy emotion of Power...Now that parents are gone...the power struggle or "rise to power" begins. 

      It seems simple....there was a lawyer involved...perhaps more than one over time...and it's all in there should be no unresolved issues over who is left what, has control of what....but in the "real" part of estates that is not necessarily and estate

    Documents...even those written by the same lawyer at the same time are in conflict with each other.

   Of course,...everyone is an expert on real estate and the family home, at a value that each person involved  knows to be correct.   

     How can all of this be avoided ? Why the turmoil when the black and white of a legal document expressing someone's wishes should rule clearly and simply.

     While it may bring the elephant out of hiding and may not be the most pleasant of circumstances for everyone, the hidden elephantvery firm and clear suggestion is that whatever legal documents are involved...a will, a trust, life estate...some combination of presented to everyone mentioned with a  lawyer and the person(s) for whom they were written present....with a tape recorder.   

     Inlaws need to be silenced....regardless of their own perceived is not about "them." 

    It is not unusual to learn that even the person for whom the documents were written does not understand that there may be issues...conflicts...and very costly misunderstandings.   Have that family meeting...if miles separate family members...there are speaker phones and conference calls.   It may sound like a lot of may feel it unnecessary....clarity of the desires of a person is always worth the effort. The emotional and financial wrangling that can and very often does result when the voices of everyone involved can no longer be heard is worth every effort made to bring clarity and understanding.

    This is a public service message brought to you by Sally K. and David L. Hanson, Broker Associates with Keller Williams Realty.


Sally K. & David L. Hanson, ABR, CDPE, CSS, e-Pro,ILHM, REDS

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Comment balloon 10 commentsSally K. & David L. Hanson • October 25 2016 04:47AM


Such a sensitive subject, but these are some hard truths that sure can save grief and pain in the future, simply by going over them before something happens Sally K. & David L. Hanson 

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) over 1 year ago

Great blog and one that many should read before it is to late.  Make it a great day!

Posted by Will Hamm, "Where There's a Will, There's a Way!" (Hamm Homes) over 1 year ago

Hi Sally K. & David L. Hanson - I couldn't agree more with your post. I have had to deal with this on a personal level 4 times and many more on a real estate level. I am currently going through 2 now.  Many of these transactions have been with multiple trustees.  There is nothing more satisfying than helping a family in a delicate manner, through this life-altering experience. 

Posted by Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, (928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR® (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 1 year ago

Good morning, Sally and David --- another smart post on a topic that many people prefer to avoid.  Like most things, the outcome will be better if they are approached upfront rather than later.   Knowledge is power.  

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 1 year ago

Hi Sally K. & David L. Hanson I think that a FAMILY OFFICE might just be the answer, with a manager that "tells" the family what is what.

Bill Roberts

Posted by Bill Roberts, "Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner (Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate) over 1 year ago

We had no family meetings in our home. My husband and I drafted our wills with our estate attorney and put in a codicil that said that any beneficiary who challenges any portion of the will is immediately disinherited. We then told our primary beneficiaries (2 daughters) not to expect to be heiresses when we die. Anything that's left over should be seen as a bonus.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (RE/MAX Executive | Charlotte, NC) over 1 year ago


Excellent post, and you are right that people often neglect this important part.  Wishing you a great rest of the week.  A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) over 1 year ago

We have seen too many times the emotional and financial burdens with families, and it can be messy. Nice explanation!

Posted by Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Condo & Home Sale Specialists (The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803) over 1 year ago

Sally and David family members have well intentions, but there are more times than I would like to admit which everything would have gone much better if family members kept their well intentions to themselves.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 1 year ago

Sally and David- so many don't want to discuss what's going to happen when.....happens but you cannot escape this aspect of life.  It would be so much better if families did discuss this while the ones leaving the earthbound people behind were still alive. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 1 year ago