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Old 21-01-2019, 14:59   #1
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Writing a Will: Lost at Sea

New year, new resolution - update my will. Loosing 50 pounds is easier. It.

We met with an attorney and the question “What happens if we just disappeare, if we are “lost at sea”, came up. My notes are real helpful “write a “lost at sea” letter.”

So can you guys give me any assistance? I’ve googled and come up empty handed.
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Old 21-01-2019, 15:17   #2
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Re: Writing a Will: Lost at Sea

What in the world is a lost at sea letter? Do you write it before you sink and hope someone mails it afterword?...
I can see there being possible terms in a trust dealing with being missing, but can't see how it applies to a will. A will can only come into affect after you are legally considered dead.
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Old 21-01-2019, 15:32   #3
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Re: Writing a Will: Lost at Sea

Unfortunately that was my reaction “What in the world is a “lost at sea”letter”. I’ve written for the legal aid I was meeting with at the time. Perhaps it was my shorthand for something more than an official recognized term. But as of now I’m lost at wills.
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Old 21-01-2019, 15:44   #4
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Re: Writing a Will: Lost at Sea

Heres one from Captain Lewis of the ill-fated Prima Donna in 1880. Probably not what your lawyer was talking about.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-...pwreck/7723004
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Old 21-01-2019, 15:51   #5
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Re: Writing a Will: Lost at Sea

Google on holographic will. Leave the letter with your shore based attorney, and keep a copy in a waterproof package on the boat. It does mean you need to think things through, a bit. You can also write a new one at any time, send xerox to atty, keep original safe from water damage.

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Old 21-01-2019, 16:13   #6
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Re: Writing a Will: Lost at Sea

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Google on holographic will. Leave the letter with your shore based attorney, and keep a copy in a waterproof package on the boat. It does mean you need to think things through, a bit. You can also write a new one at any time, send xerox to atty, keep original safe from water damage.

Ann
How is a letter with an attorney better than a signed will? It certainly won't be better or necessarily enforceable in many jurisdictions.
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Old 21-01-2019, 16:58   #7
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Re: Writing a Will: Lost at Sea

Googled holographic will. Thanks.

But I don’t think that was what we were discussing.

I think it was more of an issue about what were to happen if we just disappeared.

Assuming we both have legal and enforceable wills.

Wait a moment!!!! Maybe I now recall the context!!!!

AB HA! Got it.

Here’s the scenario. We are cruising around, and disappear. Kids back home are busy with their own lives are of course not paying attention to us. So when we disappear they are left entirely clueless. Who is our attorney, who has the will, who is handleing our retirement funds. That sort to thing. A way for the kids to get a handle on what to do in case of our sudden and unexpected demise.

That is the “lost at sea” letter, a memonic to myself.

Thanks, I just needed to chat with some folks to re-engage the brain.
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Old 21-01-2019, 17:04   #8
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Re: Writing a Will: Lost at Sea

I'd think it would be more like something with info and instructions. If you're suddenly gone, will the beneficiary even know where to start with settling all your affairs. What life insurance company? Where are and how do I get all of your important documents? Where is your emergency cash stashed? Safe combo, if you have one. And, of course, to say one last goodbye to loved ones.

Probably not really a legal document, but a last little aid for the kids or whomever.
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Old 21-01-2019, 17:28   #9
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Re: Writing a Will: Lost at Sea

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Originally Posted by Fiveslide View Post
I'd think it would be more like something with info and instructions. If you're suddenly gone, will the beneficiary even know where to start with settling all your affairs. What life insurance company? Where are and how do I get all of your important documents? Where is your emergency cash stashed? Safe combo, if you have one. And, of course, to say one last goodbye to loved ones.

Probably not really a legal document, but a last little aid for the kids or whomever.
FiveSlide got it right! It is the road map for someone - kids, relatives, friends to follow in the event you become "lost at sea". Remember, no one is going to declare you dead if you dont phone home for a month.

In the meantime, where is joint checking account and checkbook with a dependable person who can use it to pay the property taxes, house insurance, keys to start your cars, check your mail, maybe file income taxes in the event 3 or 4 years go by and the courts still have not declared you dead.
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Old 21-01-2019, 17:38   #10
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Re: Writing a Will: Lost at Sea

Super, great ideas!
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Old 21-01-2019, 17:56   #11
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Re: Writing a Will: Lost at Sea

Doesnt make any sense..... a responsible attorney instructs you to inform people where to find the will in the first place. I am part of several wills and I signed off, I know where the papers are. And what’s the difference if you and wife go to aunt Betty’s and drive off a wooded cliff up in the Sierra mountains. Is there lost on the road letter too?? A lost at sea letter sounds to me like “hey guys we had fun while it lasted”.

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Old 21-01-2019, 19:19   #12
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Re: Writing a Will: Lost at Sea

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Googled holographic will. Thanks.

But I don’t think that was what we were discussing.

I think it was more of an issue about what were to happen if we just disappeared.

Assuming we both have legal and enforceable wills.

Wait a moment!!!! Maybe I now recall the context!!!!

AB HA! Got it.

Here’s the scenario. We are cruising around, and disappear. Kids back home are busy with their own lives are of course not paying attention to us. So when we disappear they are left entirely clueless. Who is our attorney, who has the will, who is handleing our retirement funds. That sort to thing. A way for the kids to get a handle on what to do in case of our sudden and unexpected demise.

That is the “lost at sea” letter, a memonic to myself.

Thanks, I just needed to chat with some folks to re-engage the brain.
Who is your executor? They, and your attorney, need a copy of your "lost at sea letter".

In my case, my will lays out the process and I have an asset inventory/financial statement that lists everything: asset, account/tax ID number, contact person, etc. Executor & attorney have copies or both.
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Old 21-01-2019, 20:04   #13
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Re: Writing a Will: Lost at Sea

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiveslide View Post
I'd think it would be more like something with info and instructions. If you're suddenly gone, will the beneficiary even know where to start with settling all your affairs. What life insurance company? Where are and how do I get all of your important documents? Where is your emergency cash stashed? Safe combo, if you have one. And, of course, to say one last goodbye to loved ones.

Probably not really a legal document, but a last little aid for the kids or whomever.

And things like credit card numbers, bank account numbers and internet access passwords etc.
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Old 21-01-2019, 20:05   #14
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Re: Writing a Will: Lost at Sea

I've just completed a complete revision of my Estate Plan (Will, Trust, Powers of Atty, etc). Instructed my atty to prepare 2 extra complete sets and delivered one set to each of my children. In addition I maintain an "In case of...." memo that I update periodically and send to each kid. List my atty, CPA, financial advisor, ins agent, bank and investment accts, etc. Now, instead of worrying about "What if...." I can go off and enjoy myself.
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Old 21-01-2019, 21:10   #15
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Re: Writing a Will: Lost at Sea

Most counties have a Registrar of Wills, usually at the courthouse. So you don't need an attorney to hold it and it's intact if your house burns with you in it. In my county it cost $5 to file and I can swap a new one in for another $5 any time I want. My executor has a second copy. (fwiw - My lady is an attorney and my executor, who helped write the will.)

You'll also want the family to get to your passwords, Advanced Medical Directive, personal comments, pre-death instructions, deed to the cemetery lot, another copy of the will, etc. The County Registrar will not allow those to be filed with a will so retirement communities came up with an easy answer long ago. On the side of the apartment/house fridge, they use a magnet to hold a big sealed envelope with the words "Emergency Info" and contents listed on the outside. Some of us at work have a copy where a close colleague knows where to find it, again in case the house burns down.
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