Is Your Estate Plan Done Right or just “Done”?
Is Your Estate Plan Done Right or Just "Done"?
Is your estate plan (Will, Trust, etc.) merely done or is it done right? I often wonder how people
without legal training would know the difference. Estate planning is so much more than filling in
the blanks on a Will, Trust, Power of Attorney, etc., especially when you want to ensure those
important documents are absolutely correct and have been thoroughly vetted.
Most lay people think a Will, Trust, Power of Attorney and Healthcare Power of Attorney are all
the same. Just print a form, fill in the blanks, and you’re done! And while that can sometimes be
true, there is much more to consider.
For example, what risks do you want to avoid after your spouse and/or children receive their
inheritance? Unfortunately, most online document preparation services and attorneys don’t help
you understand the risks or how to avoid them.
Risks? What risks?
What if a spouse remarries after you pass? The new spouse is usually entitled to 30% of
everything the surviving spouse owned at the time s’he passes, even if the Will says otherwise.
And that 30% usually doesn’t go to your children when s’he dies.
What if a child divorces or runs into financial trouble after receiving an inheritance? S’he could
lose some (or ALL) of their inheritance. If you have a child that dies before you or after receiving
inheritance, then their former spouse (i.e., your former son-in-law) could be in control of your
minor grandchild’s inheritance!
These are just some of the many risks to consider. Don’t you want to ensure your plan for your
and your family’s future is secure and experience the peace of mind that comes from that? If so,
I highly recommend you visit with an estate planning or elder law attorney who knows the
difference between an estate plan that is done; and one that is done right.