Legal fees can remove a significant amount from an estate.
Are you wondering whether proper estate planning is worth the money?
Sure, estate planning will cost you upfront, but the alternative could be far worse.
This is most certainly true, according to a recent Wealth Advisor article titled “Litigation Leaves $8M Estate With $200K.”
Take the case of John Sullivan and his will.
The will was contested because there was suspicion of forgery by bail bondsman Ray Zapata.
The $8 million estate of Sullivan currently stands around $200,000.
According to attorney Michael Deadman, the temporary administrator for the estate, taxes and legal feeds drained much of the fortune.
What kind of payments were owed?
Sullivan’s estate owed taxes on overseas accounts.
Several law firms needed to be paid for services.
Money was distributed to settle sex abuse claims.
Legal fees over the continued will contest have also taken their toll.
A complaint was original filed by attorney Joe Hernandez who accused Ray Zapata of forging the will.
After handwriting evaluation, however, the identity of the maker of the will is still inconclusive.
As litigation continues, the estate will likely be drained further.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: Wealth Advisor (October 26, 2017) “Litigation Leaves $8M Estate With $200K”