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The Sad End to an Unwritten Estate Plan

You can protect your loved ones from the unnecessary confusion and heartache illustrated in these two stories by taking the time to get your estate plans in order today.

Case Study No. 1: Use a Pro, Not a Pencil
A year after Diane created her estate plan, she used a pencil to cross out portions of one of the original documents. She changed a provision that originally stated her house should be sold and the proceeds divided among five distant relatives. She decided, instead, to leave her home and its contents to a charitable organization. After her unexpected death, relatives claimed that the document was improperly altered. Two courts agreed. Thus, the original language held and the charity she cared about received nothing.

Case Study No. 2: The Price of Procrastination
Tim was an excellent physician, but he failed to give his personal affairs the same careful consideration he showered on his patients. After a fatal car accident, taxes devoured nearly half his estate because he neglected to take simple steps to eliminate unnecessary taxes. In the absence of a will, state law dictated how to divide the remainder of his estate.

Test your knowledge
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As you put together your plans for the future, we hope you will remember Excelsior College. Please contact Marcy Stryker at 518-608-8287 or mstryker@excelsior.edu if you have any questions about tax-smart ways to include us in your will, trust or other areas of your estate plans.

Copyright © The Stelter Company, All rights reserved.

The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For legal or tax advice, please consult an attorney. Figures cited in examples are for hypothetical purposes only and are subject to change. References to estate and income taxes apply to federal taxes only. State income/estate taxes or state law may impact your results.

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