You would think that people who have practiced law would know the benefits of a well drafted estate plan. I guess it is like the old adage that “the cobbler’s son has no shoes.”
Who knows how many lawyers in this country do not have a will or a trust. Abraham Lincoln, a lawyer before he became President, died intestate (without a will). Maybe like most of us he wasn’t anticipating dying at the age of 56.
Some judges have died without an effective estate plan. In 1910 a Judge of the New Jersey Court of Appeals left no will with an estate of between $100,000 and $500,000.
Supreme Court Justice Warren Berger, a former Chief Justice, left a short one page will which did not have any specific powers granted to his executor and didn’t say anything about debts, expenses, or taxes. He was a lawyer who had practiced law and taught law school. He served as an assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department before becoming a Supreme Court Justice.
So you are not alone if you don’t have a will or a trust, but nonetheless it can be a costly omission for your heirs. Furthermore, the Probate Court, which writes your estate plan for you in the event you don’t, may not have the same ideas you do about where your money should go. See our prior blog post (August 2008) about all the things you can’t do without a will or a trust.
Contact us at Law Office of Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation if you would like a free consultation about an estate plan.