If you don't have a Last Will & Testament (or a Living Trust), you are leaving your estate in the hands of the government to determine who will manage it, and who will receive it. Sometimes, this works out okay. But more often, this opens up unresolved family conflicts, battles and arguments.
Why is that the case? Here's an example. You die and leave a $500,000 estate (house, IRA, bank accounts, etc.) without a will (dying without a will is called "intestate"). You have three children. One child has been helping you with your medical care more than others and he thinks he is entitled to more of your estate. He helps himself to more than his fair share of your estate after you die. Your two other children are furious, and they challenge this–in court. If it sounds messy, it is messy.
Creating a will and mapping out your estate plan is the perfect antidote to dilemmas like the one above. By making your wishes clear, and putting one person in charge of your affairs, you have hampered most possible will challenges. Further, by discussing your plan openly with your family (letting them know who the executor will be, why you chose to divide your estate the way you did, etc) will greatly help quash any possible future conflict.
Please call our office today to schedule a complementary estate planning consultation at (215) 706-0200. Don't forget to listen to us on the radio every Saturday at 8:30 AM on AM 1340 WHAT (and listen online at www.am1340what.com).