Estate planning, writing a will, passing on your property upon your death can be a minefield with unexpected consequences, especially if you do not consult a lawyer. In this article, let&39;s look at some examples of the many problems that can occur.
A common mistake is to assign common names to an adult child so that it is automatically transferred to the child at the time of your death so you do not have to pay legal fees. This idea has many pitfalls. If the child dies before you, you return to square one. It may not be a problem if you have time to solve this problem, but what if you are together in an accident and you never have the opportunity to change things? Or what happens if you never do it? From now on, your heirs will have to check your assets, which will cost them much more than consulting a lawyer in estate planning.
Creditors are also a consideration. Did you know that your child&39;s creditors could use your property to collect the debts of your child? If your child has the title, he is the owner. Creditors may prefer real estate for the recovery of judgment. They can seize bank accounts. When this happens, it is up to you to attempt to cancel it. Prove that something is really up to you, recovering funds, freezing a frozen bank account or removing a privilege can be very difficult and does not always work. This usually requires the help of a lawyer, which is more expensive than what you would have spent for a lawyer specializing in estate planning.
Another common idea is to leave everything to an adult child, because this child "knows what you want to do with it" and divides things as you go. It can take many forms, including a common title, the name of a single child in a will he wrote himself, or simply tell him what you want without discussing it with anyone, or take no formal action. What&39;s wrong? A lot! On the one hand, as in the previous example, the child may die before or at the same time as you. You also put your child in a difficult position in case of disagreement between your children. You may not think that your little darlings would behave this way, but money and sorrow do strange things to people: the temples ignite, the brothers and sisters do not get caught up in it. do not hear and sometimes the child who was supposed to divide the property decides to keep everything instead. Stories of quarrels between children abound, ultimately costing high legal fees and leaving behind broken relationships. Even if you are certain that it will not happen to you (last famous words), consider the other extreme: will your child feel so shaken or erased of himself that he gives everything to his children? brothers and sisters and the guard nothing?
Writing your own will or your trust can also cause problems. If you do not comply with the required formalities, the document will be invalid. If there is anything ambiguous in what you have written, a court will decide what you want to say. It&39;s expensive and it&39;s like throwing a dice. If you think it&39;s easy to be clear, think again. Take the case of the man whose will tells his daughter to receive a large cash donation if she survives him 30 days later and that his second wife receives all the rest. The girl died on day 28. Who gets her share? The will said that the woman gets everything "differently". The Will did not say what to do if his daughter had not survived. Does the second wife receive it or does it go to the children of the man from his previous marriage? Where do you think these kids think this should go? A court will probably have to intervene and it will cost a lot more than asking a lawyer to write the will!
Do not try to be your own lawyer, nor would your own dentist or surgeon. As the saying goes, "You get what you pay for." If you think that an estate planning software to do it yourself is the solution, you should read the assessment done by Consumer reports .