JOCELYN WONG-ROLLE, J.D.

"Personalized Estate Planning Services for People with small to moderate sized Estates"

Jocelyn Wong-Rolle

wongrolle@hotmail.com
510.482.1034

Don't let this be you

True stories I have come across during my years of practice as an Estate Planning attorney….

A married couple live a very happy and contented life.  They are loving and supportive to each other, but they have few close friends or relatives.  The husband dies without a Will.  The wife is devastated.  Almost no one stays in contact and the widow lives quietly.  Her health starts to fail and she has not named anyone to take care of her.  She dies alone, without a will, and is not discovered for several days.  No one wants to take care of her burial and winding up her affairs.  The final insult is that her late husband’s estranged distant relatives take ½ of her major asset, her house, and her niece, the only one who cared for her in her illnesses inherits nothing. 
MAKE YOUR WILL! (BETTER YET DO A TRUST)

An elderly man names his nephew as his agent for power of attorney.  The nephew over a period of years takes all the man’s money.  The elderly man has nothing left but his house, which luckily he never transferred into the nephew’s name.  In order to make ends meet he takes out a reverse mortgage. 
NAME ONLY TRUSTWORTHY PEOPLE AS YOUR AGENTS!

A married couple do their Estate Planning and wills.  Unfortunately, they do nothing further for 20 years.  During that time the couple purchase property, take out mortgages and engage their children in their business affairs.  The children realize that the current estate plan is not equitable because of loans they have made to their parents.  Unfortunately the husband has lost capacity to change his Estate Plan in this detail.  A court proceeding is required after his death to straighten out his affairs. 
LOOK AT YOUR ESTATE PLAN REGULARLY AND REVISE IT WHILE YOU STILL CAN!

An elderly woman is easily influenced.  One of her children talks her into buying her a house for the child.  The other children hear about this and are upset.  Fortunately, they are able to stop the sale. 
LET A TRUSTED PERSON TAKE CARE OF YOU WHEN YOU CAN’T TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.

A much older man marries a much younger woman.  After a brief time of marriage she convinces him to put his house in both their names, in joint tenancy.  After a few years he finds she is having  an affair with someone else.  She moves out.  He cannot undo the gift of his house without legal action.  His major asset is now no longer solely his. 
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU DO!

A terminally ill man becomes unconscious. The caregiver calls the paramedics. Even though the man has a healthcare directive that says he does not want CPR or emergency oxygen administered, the paramedics try to revive him and take him to a nearby emergency rom where he is worked on for many hours.
GET A POLST (Physician's Order for Life Sustaining Treatment) THAT SPECIFIES YOUR WISHES AND KEEP IT NEAR YOU AT ALL TIMES.

Parents go to a lot of trouble to establish a Revocable Grantor Trust. Over the years their assets change as they buy and sell stocks, bonds, real property, close and open accounts. Unfortunately they forget to put their new property into their Trust and their children must use probate for some of their assets.
KEEP YOUR TRUST UPDATED AND FUNDED.