Earlier last month the New York Times ran an article about basic reasons why you need to pay attention to your family’s estate planning. The article made me think of several instances where families would have benefited from having a well-thought out plan. While we are still at the beginning of the year, we want to suggest that you consider making this one of your goals for 2017.
After practicing trusts and estates law for over three decades, I probably now spend at least one-third of my time dealing with legal matters where families have not properly tended to their estate planning. Often, this results in probate-related disputes and litigation, particularly in second marriage situations and in families where grown children do not get along with one another for whatever reason.
The net result of failing to tend to estate planning matters is frequently legal and family chaos, which carries with it unnecessary emotional turmoil and family distress, inordinate conflicts and delays, and significantly increased legal fees to navigate through the matter. It is often impossible to get to the back side of this emotional experience without deep scars, bitterness, and a shallower wallet.
So, for the sake of your family and loved ones, please consider steps you can take now to avoid leaving loose ends unattended in your estate planning matters.