As we get older and near retirement age, we start to worry more and more about our financial situations. In some cases, people may think that getting a lawyer to help with estate planning is an added expense that they simply cannot afford. But as some of our readers may not know, not having legal help to finalize your estate plan can spell trouble down the road. It can actually cost your beneficiaries when your estate goes into probate.
Our Los Angeles County readers can see this exemplified by a case out of Florida where an elderly woman’s decision to use an “E-Z Legal Form” cost one of her beneficiaries some of his inheritance. That’s because, according to the state’s Supreme Court, the woman’s will did not contain a clause that explained what was to happen to items that were not addressed in her will. So when the will went to probate, it raised an important question: should the court follow the state’s succession laws or distribute the property based on the perceived intentions of the deceased woman?