Avoiding putting together an Estate Plan is normal; Most people don’t like to think about or have a plan in place in case of their death if everything else in their life is fine. However, the cost of planning ahead is nominal compared to the peace of mind and the return on investment that comes with an estate plan. Look at the following example of a typical couple to understand the ultimate costs of not having an estate plan.
Two Paths: A Case Study
Mary and Daniel are married with three adult children. They own a $500,000 home in Southborough, Massachusetts with a $100,000 mortgage. Daniel has $300,000 in his 401(k), and Mary has an IRA worth $30,000. They have $50,000 in savings and an investment account worth $50,000. When Mary and Daniel die in a car accident, they leave behind their three children.
Path One: Mary and Daniel did NOT have any legal documentation
When Mary and Daniel pass away, their family discovers that they have no will or Estate plan in place. Since there is no will, the estate must go through the probate process, which can take over a year to complete. All assets are locked until the Probate Court appoints a Personal Representative, which means that the family will not be able to sell the home until that is completed. Furthermore, the Personal Representative will have to petition the Probate Court for a license to sell the home, but this cannot be done until you have a signed purchase and sale agreement. They are at the mercy of the Probate Court.
Path Two: Mary and Daniel Sign up for Wills in a Week℠
Before their deaths, Mary and Daniel attended Ladimer Law’s Wills in a Week℠ program to learn how to avoid the Probate Courts and leave all their assets to their kids equally. As part of the Wills in a Week℠ process, they established a trust for their home and non-retirement assets. The Trust allows the family to sell the home immediately without the Probate Court getting involved.
The Costs of Each Path
|No Estate Plan||Wills in a Week|
|$10,000||Probate Administration and License to Sell real estate||$1,500||Establish a Plan to avoid Probate Courts|
|1-2 years||0-12 months|
What You Can do to Prepare
Contact Ladimer Law today to start planning for your future. Ladimer offers many options including our affordable Wills in a Week℠. Wills in a Week℠ helps you to make decisions ahead of time and prevent the expensive and stressful repercussions of not having an estate plan. The Wills in a Week℠ program includes a 60 Minute informational session with an attorney and results in the creation of a will, a trust, a durable power of attorney, a health care proxy, a HIPAA release form, a declaration of homestead for a trust, a deed into trust, and a certificate of trust. We look forward to helping you prepare for your future.
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Natick, MA 01760
Ladimer Law specializes in estate planning. We protect our clients, their heirs, and their assets by listening closely, knowing the law, and executing estate plans that fit and evolve.