Everybody has some crazy in their family. I don’t mean to cast aspersions, but I do mean to use the word ‘crazy’ in the larger sense of the unusual people and unexpected things that happen within one’s family. I also mean to normalize the ‘crazy’ and note that if there is a ‘normal’ family out there, that’d be crazy. The unexpected events – death, birth, divorce, remarriage, disability, disputes, rifts – are really not unexpected at all. What is common, is that nobody wants to deal too much with the unusual and the unexpected things in life – even if it might be one’s own blood relations – but sometimes, you must deal with it when it’s family.
And how you might deal with it – apathetically, reactively, or strategically – can make a big financial difference in your life, and the family’s.
Family members often clash when it comes to the transfer of a lot of money from the estate of the deceased to the bank accounts of surviving family, friends, and charities. How that money is transferred and to whom it goes can be very complicated if a decedent makes no estate plan during his or her lifetime. If so, apathy (unintentional, by the decedent) and reaction (by the surviving family) would be a family’s methods of dealing with the decedent’s lack of estate planning.
Better, is when people strategically plan to preserve and pass on their legacy by taking control of their estate planning, by considering all the crazy things that can happen within a family, and then by making a trust or will-based plan that expects the unexpected, including incapacity. The big financial difference that may come about is less of your legacy will need to be spent on crazy or unexpected things and more of that money would remain with exactly who you say should manage, distribute, receive it.
What’s really crazy is not planning when you have the chance, or estate planning on your own without the assistance of an estate planning attorney to save a few dollars. The irony of the apathetic or penny-pinching approach to planning one’s legacy is that the opposite of the expected is often what happens: meaning the most expensive will contests and estate disputes originate from the decedent’s focus (or lack thereof) on saving money now over building, making, and shaping a legacy for the family’s future.
To plan or not to plan, will be your remembered legacy. Control it now or someone else will later.
Contact Meyring Law Firm today for help securing your legacy and the future of your family.