DEAR BRUCE: I am 66 years old and worth about $5 million. I have no significant debt. I have a simple will naming my wife and only child as my heirs. None of them need any money.Is there any reason to incur the outrageous attorney's fees that my state prescribes for closing an estate? Couldn't I just let my executors settle everything without an attorney? — J.B.
DEAR J.B.: You've got to be kidding! You worked hard and are now worth over $5 million. You need to clearly spell out your desires for how your money should be spent after your demise. There are things that may occur after your death that have to be attended to and without a proper will, it would be very costly to settle these matters.
Don't be pennywise and pound foolish. Talk to your heirs and let them know exactly what you're spelling out and how it's to be done, and then do it properly. This will be money well spent.DEAR BRUCE: My mother is 77 years old. She has a home worth $65,000 with a mortgage of $20,000 left. When she contacted a company that advertises reverse mortgages, the fees were around $8,000. Is there a reputable company that would help me do the reverse mortgage myself? I can afford to pay off the balance due and make monthly payments to her. I just need assistance with the legalities. I called a couple of local mortgage brokers and they weren't sure what to do. — K.F.
DEAR K.F.: It is possible to work out the details for a reverse mortgage and handle the whole affair yourself, but I don't recommend it. You say you just need assistance with legalities. The whole process is a colossus of legalities. These folks know their way around the track and you don't.
Please do your research. Check with several companies that offer reverse mortgages, but I wouldn't try to save a few dollars. Find out what they charge and choose the one that's best for your family. Good luck.
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