Every day I meet with clients that have been provided various estate planning advice that is… hopelessly incorrect. A few of my favorite bits of advice include: 1) If you die without a will, the government gets your property, and 2) if you have a will, you avoid probate.
It is natural that we discuss with family, friends, neighbors and co-workers things that are on our to-do lists such as estate planning. Many people have noble intentions of gather information to help them create a plan that makes things easier for their family members upon their death. However, in search of information they often receive bad advice from someone that is not an estate planning lawyer. Ultimately, you get what you pay for. If you received free legal advice from your financial advisor, or a family member who got a form off the internet, the advice is probably worth what you paid for it. There is no comparable substitute for legal advice from an estate planning attorney that has fully reviewed your family relationships, your goals, and your assets.
To have an estate plan prepared by an attorney with the right knowledge and expertise will cost some money. The cost will depend on various factors such as whether you have a taxable estate and the documents that need to be prepared. In my experience the people that don’t do an estate plan, do a DIY estate plan, or prepare a cheap estate plan, end up costing their family members considerably more time and money administering their estate upon death.
If you and your spouse would like to dispel estate planning myths and create a quality estate plan, please contact our attorneys today at 507.786.9090.