Imagine if you are a beneficiary or heir to one of your parents’ estate. When the unfortunate time comes and they pass away, you are eventually sat down by an attorney that works on behalf of your deceased parent. That attorney informs you that your parent didn’t have an estate plan — or, in a potentially worse scenario, that attorney tells you that the estate plan drawn up by your parent is unclear and improper, leading to a complicated scenario where you may have to contest the will.
Sadly, this happens more often than you would think, and there are two things that you can learn from this.
The first is obvious enough: everyone needs an estate plan. Make sure that you discuss things with experienced professionals to ensure that your estate plan is thorough. There are numerous aspects to an estate plan — including the will — that are essential. Having this plan in place will protect your interests and ensure that you heirs and beneficiaries receive what you want them to receive. It also ensures that your estate isn’t distributed according to state laws or probate, instead following your custom rules as outlined in your estate plan.
The other lesson is to make sure that your will is clearly organized and well-written. Having a will that is confusing or unclear can lead to your heirs or beneficiaries contesting the will and getting into legal fights with one another. This can pit family against family, when the whole point of an estate plan is to bring your family together and to give them that “nest egg” you have been saving.