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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

How to avoid an estate battle after you die

The title of this article - How to Avoid an Estate Battle After You Die - pretty much sums up the primary goal of the majority of us. We don't want our family relationships to break down over estate matters, and we want to ensure that our wishes are carried out smoothly. Regardless of the size or value of our estates, we all want the same outcome.

It isn't easy, but there are certainly steps that all of us can take to put a strong estate plan into place. We need a Will of course, but perhaps other documents such as trusts as well.

I'm attaching an excellent article by Paul Sullivan in the New York Times that draws some timely lessons from the estate of Huguette Clark. Ms. Clark died at 104 years old, leaving an estate of $300 million, which is still being litigated two years after her death. A big part of the problem is that she was 98 years old when she had her two wills made.  Click here to read the article. The reporter really found some great people to interview for this article, as I could definitely hear the voices of experience talking.

The attached photo of Ms. Clark accompanied the New York Times article and is credited to Associated Press.

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