Whether famous or just regular folks, we are reminded by the following anecdote that a few extra steps in your estate planning will deliver on your intentions.
You’d think the former Chief Justice of the highest court in the land – the US Supreme Court – would get this right. But he opted to write is own will. In fact he tried to write his own will in a mere 176 words. This succinct will might have been a great accomplishment in his own eyes, but his family may have paid the price for his brevity with over $450k in estate taxes and court fees that could have been avoided.
We can find a lesson from the Chief Justice’s will drafting efforts: Don’t try to write your own will or have your cousin who’s a criminal defense attorney write one for you.
Instead, find a qualified estate planning attorney like myself. I’m a diehard practitioner of estate planning who would welcome the opportunity to assist you. If you know someone using software to create their estate planning documents, at least have them call me to review them for any problems that may not be obvious to them. Just call me, I’m always happy to meet and explore ways that would make sense to work together.