Listen to Lawrence…DMV Help, Leaving Funds to Grandchildren and the New NYS Power of Attorney Form

March 9, 2021
In one of my recent LISTEN TO LAWRENCE emails, I talked about the fact that a surviving spouse is entitled to their spouse’s car if they only had one car and the value is not more than $25,000. I mentioned that all you have to do is go down to the DMV for a couple of hours and process the paperwork. One of the things I love about these emails is that it is not just me pontificating, but rather we are having a conversation, as evidenced by an email I received from one of my client readers:
I discovered that for those of us who want to avoid sitting for hours at the DMV (like the plague) it’s possible to complete everything online required to transfer my deceased spouse’s old Honda to my name.
Thank you, client. With these emails, I learn as much as I teach.
We have 5 grandkids (ages 6-14) so, upon my death, I would like to leave them funds—but not sure the best way to handle it. I’m sure your firm would have a good suggestion.
The answer really depends upon how much you want to leave them, and for what purpose. It also has to integrate into your overall estate plan. I could write a whole book on this topic, but instead, I will just offer some typical simple suggestions.
  • If a small amount, you could just create a bank account in your name for each grandchild, naming them as beneficiaries. They would simply inherit it and have full control over the account at 18 (parent or guardian would control it before 18). Let them blow it on their first car.
  • You could create a 529 account for each grandchild, to be used for education, naming your child as custodian.
  • If more money is involved, your will or trust could leave money to each grandchild in a separate trust, for whatever purpose, until they reach the age of 25 or 30 or 35 or 95😊. Prior to reaching that age, the trustee can manage the money and carry out your wishes.
If the new NYS Power of Attorney form has been released, I would appreciate you emailing me either the form or a link to get it.
In a prior LISTEN TO LAWRENCE email, I reported to you that a new power of attorney form has been created for New York. It is not yet available but I will let you know as soon as I know. On the other hand, ALL powers of attorney created prior to this new law are grandfathered in. This means that ALL the powers of attorney I already created for you will remain effective. There will be no need for a new one unless you want to change whom you are appointing or you wish to expand or limit their powers.
Thank you for all your helpful information.
I hope this helps! Please forward this information to your friends and relatives.
As always, please send me your questions. If you are thinking about it, others are probably too, so my answers will no doubt help you and many others.
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Stay safe!