10 Things That Could Go Wrong Without A Plan


Without an estate plan, many things could go wrong. As always, what could go wrong depends on your situation. Here are ten quick issues that could arise if you do not have an estate plan:

  1. If you have kids but have not appointed a guardian, and something happens to you (and your spouse), someone will have to petition a court for guardianship, a burdensome process.
  2. You have no control over how your assets are divided if you don't have a will.
  3. If you become sick/incompetent, and an end-of-life health care decision needs to be made for you, your family may end up in court if there is disagreement and discord.
  4. The state will determine who your Executor will be. What if more than one person wants the role? What if no one wants the role? Either way, this could lead to major conflicts in the family.
  5. Particularly for a second marriage, if you don't have an updated and carefully drafted durable financial power of attorney, your spouse could cut out your children from the first marriage, particularly when it comes to retirement accounts.
  6. Your family could inadvertently pay more inheritance taxes.
  7. For those that are not married, but are either engaged or in a long term relationship and want that significant other to be in control of any decisions for incapacity, etc., you MUST have an estate plan with powers of attorney and wills.
  8. For any family, there is the possibility of a family conflict over your personal belongings if they aren't assigned to someone in your plan, or while you're still living.
  9. Without a plan, a trust is not established for minors, dependents, and special needs beneficiaries. Only a custodial account can be created under the UTMA, and the functionality and use of this account is severely limited.
  10. Lastly, a plan that is not updated might be just as bad, if not worse, if a lot has changed between now and the time you put the plan together.

If you need assistance with your estate plan, please contact our office today at (215) 706-0200.