Well, yet another client of mine had a death in his family. We talked about the importance of estate planning but never got around to it. Unfortunately, they are another example to go into my book of cautionary tales.
A few years ago, I donated a simple will to a charity auction. A gentleman won it and we got together. His wife had recently passed away and he wanted to update his will. After looking at his situation, we decided to do a trust instead. We scheduled a time to put the trust together. A week before we were suppose to meet I got a call from his daughter. Her dad had a massive stroke and passed away. After looking through all of his papers and things in his house. We found almost $2,000,000 in assets. These assets were scattered to the four corners of the world. From IRAs, to individual stocks, to investment clubs. His assets were everywhere. After almost a year and a half we think that we have found everything. If he had made it just one more week, all of his assets would have been in one place. Administration would have taken mere days. His delay in planning caused his estate to go through the probate process and cost his family thousands of dollars in administration costs and fees. Thank God his children were all grown. He is the cautionary tale.
His tale is not a unique one. Time and time again these come to my office. I am out of fingers to count how many times I have said “well if your dad had done this or your mom had done that”. Call an estate planning attorney today and get your plan together. Don’t become one of my cautionary tales.