The art of economizing has reached an all-time high as cash strapped adults explore extreme couponing, deeply discounted travel deals, and other ways to reduce their monthly budget without depriving themselves or their family.  Unfortunately, some adults do not realize that cutting corners at the wrong time can lead to expensive problems. When Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher passed away, her clear-cut will named her daughter as sole beneficiary, leading to the type of smooth transfer of assets all adults envision when creating an estate plan. Internet programs and books advertising do-it-yourself estate planning as a way to save money promise to help budget-conscious adults save money but fail to mention the ways estate planning economies can lead to disaster.

Setting Up a Trust Without Help

Parents and grandparents often consider establishing a trust to help their beneficiaries navigate the shock of losing a loved one and inheriting a large amount of money or property. When done correctly, trust funds give your heirs financial freedom without jeopardizing their ability to continue receiving medical assistance or other long-term aid that they rely on. A person who attempts to establish a trust without seeking the help or advice of professional puts his or her heirs and estate at risk. Trust fund establishment errors have led to significant tax penalties, the loss of disability medical care, and other major financial problems that strip your heirs of the financial security you were hoping to provide.

Missing Will

Creating a will with the help of an attorney who is aware of the location of your heirs means that when you pass away at least one person will know that you previously created a valid estate plan.  Completing an estate plan without help in your home usually leads to vital documents being stored within your home. Unless you have discussed your estate plans with other family members or store all of your locations in a specific place, it is possible that no one will be able to find your estate plan after you pass away. A missing will can create numerous problems, especially if it is located after your heirs have already initiated intestate proceedings.

Disputes Over Unclear Instructions

When you are creating your estate plan, the instructions you outline may seem perfectly understandable to you but a third party may find them incomprehensible. If your beneficiaries disagree over the interpretation of your instructions a legal dispute may occur tying your estate up for months or years. A professional is able to point out unclear passages and provide advice regarding terminology. Providing detailed instructions regarding your funeral, asset disposal, and ways to distribute tangible items helps your family avoid conflict while they are grieving.

Contact an Attorney

The idea of contacting an attorney for estate planning assistance may seem daunting, especially for a person on a tight budget. However, attorneys who specialize in estate planning are able to work with you to find options that allow you to save money in the present and protect your heirs from financial loss in the future. The conscientious trust and estate planning lawyers  at MMZ Law are ready to provide you with the assistance you need to make the best estate choices.  Contact us today at 909-256-6702 to schedule a consultation at our conveniently located Claremont, California office.



341 W. 1st St. Suite 100
Claremont, CA 91711

MARIVEL M. ZIALCITA is the founder of MMZ LAW, A Professional Corporation, where she practices in the areas of Elder Law – Medi-Cal Planning Asset Protection, Trust & Estate, Special Needs, Conservatorship, Trust Administration, & Probate. Ms. Zialcita is a frequent speaker on trust and estate matters and holds memberships in the State Bar of California, Trust and Estate Section, The San Bernardino County Bar Association, Wealth Counsel and Elder Counsel. She currently assists in the pro bono legal services program at the James L. Brulte Senior Center in Rancho Cucamonga, California. She is based in Claremont but assists clients throughout Southern California.

This information is educational information only and not legal advice.