Estate planning

Study Shows Lack of Estate Planning Leads to Family Disputes – Wills/Intestacy/Estate Planning


Written by Greg Greenberg

Featuring Asher Rubinstein, Partner, Gallet Dreyer & Berkey, LLP

Without proper estate planning, 58% of respondents faced family disputes and had their assets under court control.

Where there is a will — of the legal kind — there is a way to avoid family strife.

according to A study published on Tuesday by LegalShield90% of Americans say having a will is important, but less than half actually have one. The survey goes on to reveal that without proper estate planning, 58% of respondents would have had an experience Family conflicts The assets were subject to court control.

Lori Humphrey, financial advisor at Granite Financial, part of Osaic, says the most common reasons clients don’t complete legal documents are a lack of urgency and not knowing who to name as guardian for minor children.

“As financial advisors, we need to be holistic in looking at the whole financial picture,” Humphrey said. “Often, that might mean helping coordinate with local lawyers to help get the client appointment on the calendar. And since not everyone has a financial advisor, another option to solve this lack of planning might be to encourage employers to add them.” to the schedule. A repertoire of employee benefits offers.”

Attorney Asher Rubinstein is a partner at Gallet Dreyer & BerkeyHe cites the additional reason why people are so reluctant to face their own mortality.

“The subject of one’s own death makes people nervous or uncomfortable and causes people to delay dealing with their own will and planning their own death.” Rubinstein saidAdding that he encourages his clients to think Estate planning When they experience major life events such as marriage, divorce, or the birth or adoption of a child.

Avoid family discord

As for the consequences of not creating a will, Humphrey said a lack of planning can lead to a will The family falls apart Upon the death of the mother or patriarch. From her experience, many people believe their children will get along well and can “handle it” when it comes to estate settlement.

However, the lack of a clear estate plan leaves the surviving family open to disputes, and the courts may decide the next step. In the end, it can be more expensive and draining for family members than completing the project estate plan advance.

“Everyone deals with grief differently, especially when it comes to money. Having a specific, legally binding, predetermined plan can help facilitate a smooth transition of assets, helping to mitigate some of the feelings that occur during that time,” said Humphrey.

Along these lines, Thomas Koppelmann, community leader at, said not having a will or plan ahead of time is dangerous because it leaves the entire decision-making process up to family members, which in turn can “get expensive”. It takes a lot of time, which eventually leads to family problems.”

“It’s actually a gift in making things smoother,” Kopelman said. “Sometimes problems happen because people are upset about what they’ve got, but there’s not always a good way to make everything equal. Have these conversations before instead of keeping your family in the dark.”

Legally, once the will is challenged, the court steps in to monitor the estate, supervising who gets what. Family members fighting over the estate have to respond to the court, so they have to hire lawyers in a generally very slow process. As a result, assets can be tied up for months or years as the legal battle continues to reach a final solution, whether through a settlement between the parties or a judge’s decision.

“The way to overcome a judicial dispute is a carefully drafted trust document that clearly defines who gets what.”
Rubinstein said. A properly drafted trust should avoid probate court and give less opportunity for someone to compete for an inheritance.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject. It is advised to take the advice of specialists in such circumstances.


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