We may think of a spoiled heiress to a large fortune, whose parents were savvy enough to prevent her from having full access to her funds. On the other hand, we could imagine a loved one with special needs, whose needs will be provided for with trust-protected money.
For example, did you name someone as an heir who is no longer in favor with you or—worse yet—has died? Who should get what they would have gotten? Are there now new people in your life—be they family members or not—whom you might wish to share in what you may have?
Estate planning documents often are treated like the photocopied permission slip for a child’s field trip. You fill in your name, include the children’s names and dates of birth and sign. The document is filed away to be used if needed, but you really never expect it to be used.
If you’re an NFL quarterback, you’ve reached the pinnacle of your profession. There’s nowhere left to go except down the ladder or into retirement. It’s the same with CEO’s like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, or Warren Buffet. As President, Barack Obama has hit the peak of his political career. Likewise with Supreme Court Justices: they are the capable-est, the intelligent-est, the wisest among all lawyers. While we have yet to hear what Justice Scalia’s estate plan looks like, it seems clear that his professional legacy is firmly fixed. [Read More]