Super spooky results if you do these 6 things

1.  Live without a General Durable and Health Care Power of Attorney.  It is best if you, rather than someone else, decide who you want in charge if you are unwilling or unable to take care of things and health care decisions.

2.  Die without a Will or Trust that clearly outlines who is in charge and what goes where.  You really do get what you pay for. Our most expensive and long-lasting probates and trust administrations are those with online, handwritten or filled in boilerplate documents because they aren’t clear and don’t address the “what ifs” that can come up.

3.  Make a million amendments or codicils rather than just redoing the entire document. People will see that they were included and are now left out or will argue of over the differences and even capacity.  Just redo it, especially if there are major changes in people or distributions.

4. File all of your documents publicly and then redo them without letting people know.  Don’t file documents publicly if you are not required to.  If you already have, make it clear in your estate plan that you have more recent documents, whether they are filed or not.  You don’t want people arguing over whether or not there is a more current estate plan.

5. Not properly fund a Trust. If you don’t properly fund your trust (i.e. put things into the name of the Trust), you may end up going through a probate AND a trust administration creating expense and time delays.  Also, make sure to update insurance to reflect the name of the Trust as well.

6. Leave stuff to people who won’t be responsible or to someone who has a spouse that sucks.  Audit your beneficiary’s ability to be responsible.  The yucky spouse can also wreak havoc.  Your kids have decades of figuring out how to work things out – bad spouses don’t have your family’s experience and don’t have the same vested interest in the family relationships. It is better to eliminate the distribution or leave a distribution in trust for a beneficiary, rather than outright, if you are concerned.

In the end, eliminate “spooky” results by being proactive and honest about what you have and haven’t addressed.  It will help minimize costs, time and promote better relationship down the road when you may not be able to address it yourself.

Written by ELTC Law Group

ELTC Law Group

We have been in business since 2007, helping the elderly and their families with a wide range of different issues including estate planning, asset preservation, long-term care, and post-death issues.