Estate Planning: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
What’s the difference between a good, bad, or ugly estate plan?
Your answer may differ if you are the person creating the disastrous estate plan or a victim of poor planning.
If you are a victim of bad estate planning, you have a different perspective. You could be forced to fix estate planning mistakes.
Ugly planning usually leaves you with few options, except going to court to have a judge fix things.
Your estate planning can have profound consequences for other people. Mistakes can be easy to make. Dividing your estate unequally between your children could be a bad idea, for example.
Will You Be Responsible?
Your children may become the victims of this plan. They cannot understand why they were treated unequally by their parents. They end up living their lives with the suffering of sleepless nights.
You can create an estate plan that leaves spouses unprepared to inherit all your problems. These can be financial difficulties, former spouses, or difficult business relationships.
You can fail to meet your family law obligations to support your spouse. You force your spouse to hire lawyers to go to court. This legal process only causes further financial hardship for everyone involved in the estate. It’s ugly.
Sometimes, the problem you create causes your estate to pay more than it should in taxes. That’s bad.
Take the Time to Prevent Problems
Leave the right kind of legacy. After all, are we not here to enrich the world and not leave others with added hardships?
Good Estate Planning reflects the words of Thomas Mann who said, “A man’s dying is more the survivors’ affair than his own.”
Good Estate Planning is designed to prevent problems for the people we leave behind.
Good Estate Planning requires you to invest in professional advice.
There are no other shortcuts.
Do you agree? Disagree? Send me your comments.
If you believe you can do it yourself, put your estate plan to the test. Let a professional offer you their comments. Then you will know if your estate plan passes the good, bad, or ugly test.
For more information, you can read Estate to the Heart: How to Plan Wills and Estates for Your Loved Ones. Read a sample chapter here.Estates, Wills On: January 28th, 2011