I recall meeting with a client whose husband had suddenly and unexpectedly passed. Of course, she was grieving; but she was also frightened about her future. She had no idea what to do next when it came to “legal things.” She did know that she did not want her children to be left in the same situation when she passed away.
Her husband tried to plan for his passing but did not want to use an attorney. He had been told that he could purchase a trust off the Internet and avoid using an attorney. He downloaded a form and filled it out. He even filed a copy of the trust at the Courthouse.
Unfortunately, the steps he took were of no help whatsoever to his spouse. They had no legal effect at all in helping to pass on his assets the way he wished. Speaking frankly, the form he filled out was useless. My purpose is not to criticize this good man. He did what he thought was necessary to address his estate after his passing.
Nevertheless, we had to go through the very steps he was apparently trying to avoid, and a couple of additional steps as well. Ironically, had we been able to talk before his passing, I could have explained a simple and straightforward way to handle his affairs. With correct information, he would have been able to decide how he wanted his affairs handled and have those wishes carried out. Most importantly, his wife could have been involved in the plan.
No one wants to pay unnecessary costs. However, when it comes to your estate planning, shortcuts can be the most expensive route of all. In this case, we were able to end up with a result pretty close to what he desired. Too often, that is not the case.
Come to a free, no obligation presentation and learn for yourself how simple it can be to ensure you have an estate plan that accomplishes your wishes, even if life suddenly changes for you or your loved ones.