Every time a celebrity passes, my very first instinct is to hope that he or she had a good estate plan in place with the help of an estate planning lawyer in Palatine, IL. The world is honoring a legend – Kobe Bryant. He was a family man with a wonderful wife, and four daughters. The thought of that family and the magnitude of the suffering they must be enduring is quite heavy. Our hearts and prayers go out to them and all of the families who lost their loved ones. Important Reasons to Create an Estate Plan.
Important Reasons to Create an Estate Plan
The news will eventually break concerning the estate plan of Kobe Bryant. Although most Americans do not have his level of wealth, it is always good to be reminded of the many issues to tackle when preparing an estate plan for your family.
- Privacy – Do you want your family’s personal information such as the amount of money they will inherit, their names and their addresses in public record? If the estate has to go through a probate court that is exactly what will happen. With celebrities, TMZ will certainly uncover the information the minute the documents are filed. With regular folks, your nosy neighbors or family members will likely sift through that information. One of the main goals in estate planning is to maintain your family’s privacy. The celebrities who planned properly do not have anything out there that TMZ can flash on their show.
- Cost – Do you want your family to spend a lot of money on courts and lawyer fees? Although the family of Kobe Bryant has the resources. It’s very important to try to avoid excessive fees when going through a probate court. In California, the lawyers receive a flat fee based on a table. So if you die with $500K in your name, then 3% of that or $15,000, must go to the attorney for the probate process. This is a small estate for CA standards, and yet the lawyer receives $15,000. So getting your estate plan done to avoid probate is very important to get more of your assets to your family.
- Time – Did you know that probate can last many years? A simple probate process may take 12-18 months, but if there are many beneficiaries who want to fight over everything, or many assets in the estate, or many claims against the estate, then the process could take years. You should not let your family have to endure more heart ache than they have to.
- Discord – Money brings out the worst in people. Parents often say that their children get along, and they are “perfect”. Once the parents are gone, the gloves come off, and many families air out their history of grievances and discord, during the estate administration process. Estate planning attorneys cannot prevent the fighting, but hopefully a properly created estate plan will reduce the fighting. The hope is that everyone can still sit next to one another during a Thanksgiving dinner, and enjoy each other’s company.
What a horrific tragedy for all of the families and loved ones of the helicopter crash. We are all reminded to enjoy every moment with our own families. Let’s not sweat the small stuff.
Thanks to Bott & Associates, Ltd. for their insight into estate planning and reasons to create an estate plan.