By: Dustin Humphrey
Not long ago, I had an older woman walk into my office to inquire about a power of attorney. Her husband had recently passed and she was wondering if her son could help her if she needed it. I asked if she had any estate planning documents, and she responded, “Oh, yes,” and pulled out a binder four inches thick full of a very complicated estate plan.
She had gone to an attorney who, as I like to say, sold this woman and her husband a Corvette when they only needed a Camry. The estate plan included a very complex trust and several other unnecessary documents. The saddest part is, this lady had no clue what any of it meant. She also had a power of attorney and didn’t even know it.
What good is an estate plan if a person cannot understand it?
To make matters worse, this estate plan was drafted several years ago when her husband was still alive and the couple had relatively little in assets. The estate plan they were sold would have only been appropriate for a very high net worth individual. I am not sure what they paid but can only guess it was several thousand dollars.
I have to wonder whether the person who prepared the documents had the best interests of these folks at heart.
I could have accomplished the couple’s wishes with a relatively simple estate plan for a fraction of what they probably paid.
When you decide to plan your estate, please make sure the attorney you are working with is looking out for your best interests. If you happen to meet with an attorney who describes the process to be so complicated and expensive that it’s incomprehensible, it’s probably time for a second opinion. The attorneys at Skeeters, Bennett, Wilson & Pike want to make sure you have the plan that is appropriate for your family.
Dustin joined the SBW&P team in 2010, coming to us from one of the oldest firms in Cincinnati. He earned his undergraduate degree from Bellarmine University, summa cum laude, and his law degree from the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, where he graduated cum laude. Dustin’s law practice includes personal injury law, medical malpractice law, business law including corporations, LLCs and business planning, real estate law, probate law, estate planning, employment law, and family law.