Proper estate planning can be as important to ordinary people as it is for wealthy individuals like celebrities. That’s despite the fact that the vast majority of us don’t consider ourselves as having acquired a lot of wealth. Perhaps you own a home and a few vehicles. You may think that drafting a simple will using software purchased online may be sufficient for your needs.
What many people fail to realize is that the formation of a will tells a probate court how you want your property and assets distributed in the event of your death or incapacitation.
Few of us realize that many of the items that we own may be extremely valuable in terms of their sentimental values for those that we leave behind. Consider the case of the late comedian Robin Williams’s estate. Although Williams did complete a will prior to his death last year, his widow and several of his children from previous marriages are still fighting over certain items. In particular, Williams’ widow wants a tuxedo the comedian wore at their wedding. She also maintains that she is entitled to some other of his personal effects including some of his watches. Both parties are expected to enter into negotiations soon and work out the details before late April.
This case shows that a will can be very important even if you don’t necessarily own expensive items. Even things that aren’t particularly valuable can still hold great significance for your loved ones. In a previous posting on our website, we explained that this reason is exactly why having a good relationship with your estate planning attorney can be very beneficial.
Meeting with your attorney and expressing your desires for the distribution of your estate can go a long way toward heading off many future probate court battles among your relatives. Your attorney will get to know you and ask you questions about your possessions that you may have never considered. Additionally, your attorney can explain to you how the entire probate process works. For example, the downsides of simply designating the transfer of your property using vague and ambiguous terms.
Based in Rochester, our law firm has assisted people throughout the local region for over 50 years. Prospective clients should know that we will take the time to ensure that their distribution of property and assets will go according to their intended wishes.