Gary Altman has seen it all when it comes to estate planning, including families disinheriting their children. In an article for Insurance News Net Magazine that highlights the messy aftermath of celebrities deaths, Altman points to an obvious lack of estate planning.
Whether it’s a celebrity or an average Joe, legal documentation (in the form of a solid estate plan) is the only way to ensure that your wishes will be followed and are less likely be challenged.
The reality is that not everyone wants to leave something to his or her children. Altman says, “I have some clients who come to me every six month to a year just to sign a piece of paper saying they are firm that they’re leaving nothing to Child A or Child B,” Altman said. “If you told someone every year for 15 years, ‘I don’t want to leave anything to my child, Joe,’ that would become almost impossible to argue against.”
Altman also suggests the creation of an irrevocable trust. “It’s the same thing as a will – it’s just that your assets are held privately, so there’s not an easy way to challenge it. It still can be done, but it’s harder to find out what the assets are because there’s no public record.”