Estate planning is something everyone should take seriously. Many times, the proper planning is the difference between your family members receiving what you want them to have or not.
Today, I have a double PHD that I didn’t have several months ago in family estate planning. Recently, I had an elderly family member that married a charlatan a few years ago before they died. Over a very short period, the person they married, systematically dismantled my family member’s entire estate leaving nothing to their children. I could take three pages to lay out the details, but for the sake of this blog, I will stick to the summary overview. The good news is that God is watching so I doubt the person will be able to enjoy the ill-gotten gains.
People think a valid will has to be done through an attorney and while that is the best course of action, it doesn’t always have to be done that way. A person can take a piece of paper and put a date at the top and specify how they want their estate to be divided. They need to have two people witness (sign and date) their signature to validate the will as their “Last Will and Testament.” They should then make copies but send the original to the person they want to serve as the executor of the estate upon their death and this type of will is as enforceable as the fancy kind.
Estate planning becomes muddled when the person uses his/her will as a threat to family members. This should never happen but with elderly people it often does because the person sees their will as the last bit of control over their children. There are more families destroyed by this type action than you can imagine but the biggest result, is it destroys the very love his/her children have for them. I can tell you emphatically that my daughters will never question the love from their mother and father because of a family estate matter.
So, what does all this mean? Well, it means to be diligent, honest and transparent with your children about these matters and get it in writing, so they will never have a reason to doubt your love for them. KT