Poorly planned estates invite Probate costs and litigation. The estate often has to pay taxes, court fees and attorneys’ bills. The people fighting over the estate have attorneys’ fees of their own to pay. However, all of that is just money. There is a far more important cost to bad estate plans that people should consider: the costs to familial relationships.
Most estate litigation pits family members against each other, and it is often family members who previously got along with each other. The anger and bitterness brought out in the litigation can go on for years. It can often put even other family members not involved in the litigation in the uncomfortable position of having to choose sides. Many families never recover from the estate litigation.
When making your estate plan make sure that you make a good plan. An experienced estate planning attorney can draft a plan for you that minimizes the possibility of litigation over your estate. Not only will this save money from expensive litigation, it has the far more important effect of helping to keep your family together after you pass away. Your family might be able to afford the financial hit of estate litigation, but no family can afford the hidden costs.