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One of most notable, memorable and prolific performers in our day was the late Robin Williams. This month marks one year since the world lost this striking talent. Williams did take the time and energy to create a specific plan for his very generous estate carefully arranging for his wife and his grown children. Learn more about probate with this free e-book.
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Like Robin, people who have very specific ideas of how they want things done in their lives seldom leave much to chance. Instead, these folks take meticulous care to spell out exactly how they want things whether they are arranging a room or planning a garden and Robin was no different. It is puzzling how many people seek the cheapest, quickest way to arrange their property and wishes for when they are no longer able to make their own decisions. The property is what they have worked their entire lives to accumulate and many times, the people who will be managing things when they pass away are the most dearest to them. Why skimp on this most important matter?
It is bewildering.
Thanks to his specific instructions, the late performer's intentions are very clear. Unfortunately, despite his wishes, his estate continues to be bitterly argued among his family. Imagine if he had created his plan through an online service or a quick and dirty document company? The specifics of these plans are few and the intentions are generally vague. Worse, if no plan exists, it's anyone's guess what was meant and the burden of proof is costly as the estate is subject to probate. These plans generally still require probate and then the courts work to determine the intentions behind the plan. Soon, the assets are slowly whittled away, the family becomes more embittered and the estate, diminished.
Robin Williams' estate plan was specifically created and his intentions made known. The fight for this estate continues in court but the argument will be far narrower than had he not created a plan at all or had he used a cheap service to do it.
No one is able to predict how family members will deal with a loss any more than it is possible to predict how they will react to a loved one's wishes. The only way to shrink this unknown is to create a tight estate plan that will speak for itself. When specific instructions that spell everything out are documented and include the person's intentions, far less is left to sort out-less guessing and less squabbling. It doesn't matter if the person's property is a multimillion dollar estate such as Robin Williams' or if it is an argument over sentimental items such as wedding rings and cookie jars, when an estate plan is correctly done, everyone involved is less burdened and far fewer assets are expended on court costs and attorneys' fees.
Keystone Law Firm
2701 W. Queen Creek Rd., Suite 3
Chandler, AZ 85248