Too often, families are torn apart by trying to decide "who-gets-what" after a parent dies.
A recent story in the Denver Post compiled a few of the horror stories that estate planning attorneys see on a regular basis:
- An irate sister who smashed a crystal vase in her attorney’s parking lot “so nobody will get it.”
- Three siblings who spent three years and $15,000 battling over Mom’s knickknacks that still had the Kmart price tags on them.
- The brother who was not entitled to get his inheritance while his sister’s dog was alive, so he shot the family pet.
While these are extreme scenarios, they illustrate the kind of difficulties that can arise in a family after the loss of a loved one. You have the power to prevent this kind of turmoil from happening in your family. The solution is to prepare a simple estate plan. Ask your children or other family members if there are things they would like after you are gone. Compile a list and include it with your will. Be sure to list sentimental items, like wedding rings and family photos, and the person(s) they should go to.
If you make a list, your personal representative is obligated to follow it. It removes the opportunity for an emotional battle at a time when family members are grieving.
Do you have questions about this or other estate planning issues? Contact us today for a free consultation!