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Anyone Can Make Mistakes 01.07.2011

Often times clients I talk with about estate planning feel like they’re the only ones in the world who are not doing a great job with their planning. That’s just not the case. Here are some examples of others who have made some of the most common planning mistakes:

“I’ve Got Time . . .”
It’s easy to put off making important decisions. In fact, some people put it off for so long, they never actually get around to making the decision at all.

Peter the Great held off on doing his estate planning until he was on his death bed. Unfortunately, all me could manage to say before he died was, “Leave it all to . . .”

Howard Hughes was worth several billion dollars when he died. Because he had never written a will, a court distributed his estate to his cousins.

Naming the Wrong People
When choosing who to name in your Will and Powers of Attorney, think carefully.

Doris Duke, of the family that founded Duke University, died without heirs but with a fortune of over a billion dollars. She named her butler as the executor of her estate, and it wasn’t long before the lawyers and the courts had to sort through the incompetence and financial abuse (at a huge cost) before removing the butler as executor.

Proper planning can make a huge difference in what happens to your estate when you pass away. If you have questions about your Will or Trust, give us a call.