On July 5, 2013

It becomes difficult to hear that Mom or Dad died but didn’t have┬átime to do Estate Planning yet. Each time the loved one who has passed didn’t have to spend anything to put together a Will or Trust so they saved money. Now their spouse, kids or grandkids are paying the price.

In a recent online forum a gentleman who had lived with his mother and was her primary caregiver was facing spending money he didn’t have to keep his older brother from taking most everything since his mom hadn’t got around to doing a will. She had promised him many of the things in the house and told him that his brother in him would split everything 50/50. Now the older brother, who is the personal representative, is running afoul of his mother’s verbal wishes. The younger brother will need to spend money to stop the older brother and the older brother will need to spend money to defend his actions to his younger brother. For the lawyers involved this is a win because they get billable hours but these fees could have been avoided if mom had just spent a little time and some money to get her wishes in writing.

How much of their mom’s hard work and legacy is going to be wasted over their bickering? How many family heirlooms and keepsakes are going to get sold out of anger or a need to pay legal bills? What is the cost in terms of the relationship between the siblings?

Part of sitting down with an experienced Estate Planning attorney is getting asked questions to bring to light these types of issues so they can be addressed in your plan. You know your family better than anyone and planning for the human issues can save your estate thousands of dollars. Make sure at least half the time you are with your planner is spent on the human issues and your family will be the richer in the end.

Categories: Estate Planning