extended family

Giving your family a verbal “estate plan” for them to carry out can create difficulties.

There are legal and practical reasons why it is unwise to rely on family members to carry out your wishes you have voiced to them about your assets, according to the Fontana Herald News in a recent article “Having estate planning documents is very important.”

The biggest issue faced by your family if you do not make an estate plan, is that your family will not decide who gets your property. The courts will instead get to make that decision. They do so by following statutes that determine who gets everything.

The person who the courts decide gets everything might not choose to follow any directions you have given to distribute that property to other people. In some cases, it might be impossible for them to follow your wishes, even if they wanted to since they could face negative tax consequences.

Rather than putting pressure on family members to carry out your plans to the best of their ability, it is much wiser to meet with an estate planning attorney who can formalize your wishes to ensure that your estate plan is carried out in accordance with your specific wishes.

Reference: Fontana Herald News (August 7, 2017) “Having estate planning documents is very important.

Mr. Amoruso concentrates his practice on Elder Law, Comprehensive Estate Planning, Asset Preservation, Estate Administration and Guardianship.