Was working with a couple recently who lived in Metairie and they wanted an estate legal program that would make things easy and efficient for their family. Specifically, the husband, who handled all of the finances and the investments, wanted to make it as easy as possible for his surviving wife should he die first. They also wanted to make it easy for their daughter, who lives out of state, to be able to access and distribute the investments to their surviving family members in the proper proportions.
After we finished discussing the particulars of their estate legal program, the husband asked if we could talk through each of their assets so that he and his wife would know what would have to take place after he passed away.
First, we discussed their home. I explained that since their home was in their revocable living trust, his wife would not have to lift a finger after he passed away. The wife will be the sole trustee and instantly have the authorization to sell the home if she wishes without having to go through lawyers and court proceedings.
Then he asked about what his wife would have to do to access his varied investment holdings. Again, I said, "Your wife will continue to have access to all of your investments that are titled in the name of your trust - so no problems there."
Then he asked about what would happen to his vehicles. I told him that his wife, after he dies, will be able to take a copy of our paperwork and his death certificate to the Office of Motor Vehicles after he dies and the vehicles he owns will all be put into her name - no judges or court proceedings necessary.
Her point was, "This sounds really easy." They had comfort knowing they were arranging their legal affairs so that the surviving spouse would have complete and continued access after one spouse dies, and that their daughter will also have immediate access to make distribution to the daughter and other trust beneficiaries after both the husband and wife pass away.