Pitfalls and Pratfalls in Estate Planning
Why not take the Do-It-Yourself approach to Estate Planning? If you have very few assets, self- help might be one approach.
But Estate Planning is much more than having a Will, Power of Attorney; and Health Care Directives in place.
When it comes to hidden pitfalls, there are quite a number of special circumstances where you would be ill-advised to use an “estate planning app”’.
Here is just a short- list of some situations that might create “pratfalls” and unexpected outcomes:
* Blended families and step-families– his, hers, mine, yours, ours, theirs
*Common law couples; same sex couples; unmarried couples
*Changing dynamics of a family structure – divorce(s), remarriage(s) – who is in and who is out of a new will?
*In vitro fertilization, artificial reproductive therapy, adoption
*Dual citizenships – or one spouse is not an American citizen
*Temporary overseas work assignments-illness/death in a foreign country
*Discord and long- term alienations among family members
*Complex estates/Hi Net Worth Estates with complicated tax implications
*Small business ownership
*Complicated business/employment contracts
*Frequent changes in domicile
*Complex divorce/marital agreements and pre nups
*Special needs family member
*Widely differing views of inheritance between spouses
*Diminished mental capacity/dementia/cognitive decline of testator
*Residing in Community Property States
And the list goes on….
In such cases, there is a higher probability of unexpected outcomes from a poorly structured estate plan.
It is worth the effort to have a ‘specialist’ in Estate Planning law review your legal documents.
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