Whether it’s your own estate plan or someone else’s, sooner or later everyone is affected by estate planning. The effect may be positive, such as a windfall received from a wealthy relative, or negative, such as having your reputation tarnished because you left your affairs in a state of chaos.
Whether from the media or our circle of family and friends, we have all heard inheritance “horror stories” that make us shake our heads. Most of them stemmed either from a lack of proper estate planning or execution of a plan, or the plan failed to anticipate potential problems. When I see a horror story in the making based on a set of facts presented by a client, I do my best to inform the client about the consequences of his or her actions and suggest a solution to the problem. The sad cases are those in which the client intended to take steps to avoid the horror story, but ran out of time.
Different people have different treasures. Whether you are most concerned with your net worth and your prized possessions, your circle of family and friends, your reputation, or a “cause” you devote yourself to, safeguarding the things that are important to you and making sure you have done your best to preserve and leave them in good stead when you are no longer around requires planning. We are blessed to be living in God’s country (California) and to have the luxury of treasures! Life is good, but short and, as the saying goes, you’ll never see a hearse pulling a U-Haul.
© 2017 by Marlene S. Cooper. All rights reserved.
(Marlene S. Cooper, a graduate of UCLA, has been an attorney for over 35 years. Her practice is focused entirely on estate planning, estate administration and probate. You may obtain further information at www.marlenecooperlaw. com, by e-mail at Marlene@ MarleneCooperLaw.com, by phone at (626) 791-7530 or toll free at (866) 702-7600. The information in this article is of a general nature and not intended as legal advice. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this article).