Monday, May 20, 2013

Unintended Consequences of the Failure to Plan Your Estate

One the unintended consequences of failing to plan your estate is that family members you detest may end up with your estate, or a portion of it.

Consider the story of the estate I handled a few years ago.  The decedent had no will and no living trust.  He was a widower, and he had no children or issue.

His heirs were 14 nieces and nephews, including a nephew who the decedent did not like.  This nephew was a playboy goof off, and the decedent did not like the way the nephew conducted his life.

That nephew received the largest share of the estate.

With a living trust, or at least, a basic will, the decedent could have omitted the nephew and directed his estate to the family members of his choice.

In California, a living trust is a "must have" estate plan, not only to control your estate and who gets it, but keep the estate out of the court system.

Dwight Edward Tompkins,
Estate Planning Lawyer,
Orange County, California.