You Will Be Infected with Executor’s Disease™
It’s like an epidemic.
I receive phone calls in my law office every day from people in estate disputes.
Let me give you seven factors that explain the growth of estate lawsuits. This is the new world we live in.
1. The Internet Spreads Information like a Virus
You have access to all the information in the world. But, like most people, you are still uncertain about what to do with your money.
People now do a little reading on the web. They think it’s a substitute for professional advice.
Do-it-yourself planning, however, can drag loved ones into court. Estate lawsuits to fix mistakes can cost tens of thousands of dollars … if they can be fixed.
2. New Court Decisions Are Game Changers
- avoiding probate
- use of joint ownership
- power of attorney fraud
- lawyer’s liability when preparing wills
- support for spouses
Has your estate plan been adapted to reflect this new reality?
What you did to protect your money or family may no longer work. The rise of Executor’s Disease™ means you need new ways to protect yourself and your family.
The web informs people that they can attack wills, lawyers and executors in court. That’s only the half of it.
3. The Rapid Pace of Legal Changes
What most people know about estate matters is decades out of date. This by itself causes problems. The Internet, however, has taught people about their rights. They can now tell when they have been treated unfairly. Their anger drives some lawsuits.
Many planning advisors have not kept up to date with this revolution of rights and entitlement.
Why? Planners are usually involved before their clients die. They do not get involved in the legal battles that can follow.
4. An Aging Population Has Created New Dangers
Q: Why did Little Red Riding Hood go to grandma’s house?
A: To make sure she was still in her will.
Questions of elder abuse are being raised in an increasing number of estate lawsuits.
Relatives no longer live close by. They can be separated by oceans and time zones. Caregivers can take advantage when other relatives are absent. Powers of attorney can be used to rob an estate before an incapable person dies.
5. Mixed and Blended Families Add Complexity and Conflict
In families with multiple partners, the conflicts and tensions can multiply among the children. Your planning must take into account your obligations and people’s feelings of entitlement.
Planning what happens to your money in such cases has added complexities. You and your second spouse need separate legal representation even to make your wills.
6. Executors, Unaware of Their Legal Duties, Get Into Trouble
Executors control your money by holding the keys to your estate. They transfer your money to your chosen beneficiaries.
The critical role of executors in estates has been overlooked. People incorrectly assume this is an easy task for a family member. Everyone expects they will know what to do when the time comes. An executor’s conduct, though, affects them, their money, and their beneficiaries.
Estate disputes center on executors. They must become involved in estate disputes. They are either on the defensive or offensive.
7. Boomers Have a Date with Mortality
Even Boomers cannot take their money with them. They often think things will stay the same when they are gone. They, like you, make false assumptions when they plan their estates.
Learn how to protect yourself. Get my free e-book, Executor’s Disease™: Save Your Money and Your Family.
Posted In: Estates, Executors On: September 7th, 2011