Make Sure You Know What You Want In Your Will … And Do It Right
March 3rd, 2014
The best source of prevention is good estate planning, done while the person is clearly of sound mind. While the specifics of Nelson Mandela’s estate plan are not yet known, one thing is for nearly certain … his estate and legacy will be the center of fighting.
How many people really know you? Your spouse, parents, best friend, or business partner?
These people and more may try to “help” with your estate, unless you leave a clear and unambiguous will that specifically states your intentions for your belongings and describes in detail how you want your estate distributed.
For an example of what can happen, consider the case of the late Nelson Mandela, as this issue was taken up in a recent Forbes article titled “Will Nelson Mandela's Heirs Tarnish His Legacy Through Greed And Fighting?”
Closer to home, someday you may have close relations or friends trying to divide up your assets in a way that was never intended—or you may have relatives you've never met claiming a right to some or all of your estate. Others who feel they know you the best might try to help interpret the will to their own benefit.
Avoid hard feelings, strain on already delicate emotions, and fighting among your relatives and friends by consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney. A qualified attorney can help you determine the best ways to handle your estate, so you are explicit in your directions. The directions include how the estate should be probated, whether alternatives should be considered to avoid probate, and also to find strategies that will provide for the greatest return for your loved ones.
Reference: Forbes, December 13, 2013: “Will Nelson Mandela's Heirs Tarnish His Legacy Through Greed And Fighting?”