Over the past few weeks, we've discussed a number of cases involved in civil appeals and highlighted some important facets of the appeals process. Today, we're taking a moment to point out that it is often in your best interest to keep a case from traveling up the court system if possible. One of those times is when you are planning your estate.
If you are of sound mind and have goals and desires for your estate, then taking the time to create a strong estate plan can reduce the chances that your heirs battle their way through the courts. Not only does this save your heirs stress and time, but it can also save a lot of money for your estate, leaving more for your spouse, children or other heirs.
Some very public cases in the media recently have driven home the need to plan your estate while you still can. Prince, for example, reportedly didn't leave a will, and now the trustee for his estate is left trying to sort through all the possible heirs and decide how to manage Prince's sizable body of work. Blues musician B.B. King did leave estate plans, but late-life changes to those plans are being questioned by his heirs, who don't believe they are valid.
While our firm can certainly work with loved ones to understand options and best handle an estate if there is no will or other estate plan, we hope you will consider working with a lawyer to create an estate plan. Wills, trusts, power of attorney documents and other estate vehicles help reduce litigation risks for you and your heirs.