How a Bad Estate Plan Can Cost You Dearly | Estate Planning TV 020
How an Estate Planning Mistake Can Cost You Dearly
I had a client come into my office recently to talk to me about probate. Their parent had just passed away and they needed help with the process of administering the estate.
The good news was there was a will. This was important because there were nine kids involved, 6 of them step-kids.
The person that died wanted to make sure all kids were treated equally and received and equal share.
They executed a will and believed that everything was okay.
And it appeared that it was… until I looked at the will.
One small mistake, one that anyone could make (but that no estate planning attorney would make) invalidated the will. It couldn’t be used in the probate.
Normally this wouldn’t be a terribly big deal, except for one thing – when there is no will you look to the state rules for distributing property.
And those rules don’t count step-children as family.
In one swoop, all of the step-kids were disinherited from the estate.
The non step-kids felt terrible, but their hands were tied when it came to the actual administration of the estate.
That right there is the reason you hire an estate planning attorney to help you out. Peace of mind, assurance that everything is executed properly and set up so your family is taken care of.
I wish I didn’t have to tell these stories, but they happen way too often…