I recently met with a couple who wanted to update their estate plan. Early in the meeting, the wife said matter-of-factly, "We have a simple estate. We want a simple estate plan." When people tell me that they have a "simple estate" what they're usually saying is that they don't think the value of their assets warrants anything more than a "simple" plan.
As I talked to this couple I learned a lot about their "simple estate."
- This was a second marriage for both of them.
- The husband has a child with severe mental disabilities.
- The wife has a son who's an alcoholic and a daughter whose marriage is shaky.
- The husband owns a rental property in California.
- The wife is expecting a fairly large inheritance in the next few years.
Sounds simple, right?
The truth about estate planning is that the overall value of one's assets is a just a fraction of determining what type of plan a person needs. For this couple, there were so many issues to address that had nothing to do with the current value of their estate. The non-money related issues actually made their estate somewhat complex.
There's a common saying among estate planning attorneys: "You don't know what you don't know." This is why a great estate planning attorney is so important. Looking at more than just the overall value of the estate reveals that something "simple" normally won't cut it.
Call or e-mail Justin Fish Legal today to schedule your free estate planning consultation.