Talking about death isn’t fun. And most people think estate planning is expensive and only for rich people. There are many excuses to avoid preparing a Will and other estate planning documents. It’s almost worse, though, to use an inexperienced lawyer or a website that provides do-it-yourself forms. The money saved by skimping on estate plans may cost a lot more in the long run because of improperly drafted or missing documents.
There are consequences to poor estate planning.
When estate planning documents, like a Will or power of attorney, are prepared incorrectly, it’s possible some of the following things will happen:
- If not handled correctly, the value of estate assets may decrease due to theft, mismanagement, or neglect. Even a competent executor may have trouble locating, managing, and disbursing your assets if not guided by well-written legal documents.
- Missing out on the benefits of trusts. Using the wrong trust or failing to recognize that a trust is needed may affect the amount your beneficiaries receive.
- Guardianships or conservatorships. Without the right plans, family members may have to go to court to raise children or address an elderly loved one’s basic needs.
- Courtroom battles and high legal fees. Your heirs may spend a lot of time in a courtroom – or a lot of money on court costs – because of incompetent representation or invalid estate planning documents. Even worse? Battles over estates can be toxic to family relationships, with family feuds and hurt feelings lasting for years.
- Higher tax bill. Savvy planning on your part could reduce or eliminate potential estate taxes, leaving more assets for your heirs.
- Good intentions with a bad return. Simply trusting family members’ vague promises to “do the right thing” does not take replace effective advice from a qualified Virginia attorney.
The worst estate planning is no planning at all!
It may seem like a great cost-saving measure to just ignore the future and hope for the best. In the end, probate, estate taxes, and depreciation of assets could total far more than the cost of a comprehensive estate plan.
Great estate planning is the key.
Get the expert advice you need.
At Dillon Law Group, PLC, experienced attorneys work with you to evaluate your needs and develop a comprehensive estate plan. Please contact us at 757-962-4796 to set up an appointment or use the Contact Form on our website, https://www.dillonlawgrp.com/. Our offices are located in Virginia Beach and Newport News.