I recently came across an article by a fellow elder law attorney, Doug Chalgian titled: “The Top 10 Ways to Incite Anarchy When You Die” which reminded me of some conversations I had with clients over the years about planning their estates. Sometimes, a client may insist on what they want to do despite my suggestions as to how to make it less likely there will problems after their death. Occasionally they will justify their decisions by claiming: “I don’t care I’ll be dead.” Almost always, the really do care, but they’re just too stubborn to acknowledge that their method may not be the best plan. As explained in the article, if you truly don’t care about what happens after you die, here are few things you may want to consider to ensure a real mess after you die:
- Loans to kids without proper record keeping. Loaning money to children without keeping track of the amount of the debt will put children in the position of arguing about how much was borrowed, what has been paid and whether any remaining balance is supposed to be offset against any inheritance.
- Hide cash in your home. Keeping substantial money squirreled away in your home is a surefire way to have kids or their spouses accusing each other of taking money that did not belong to them.
- Joint accounts. Putting one or more children on your accounts with the expectation (not written down) that they will divide the money equally with their siblings.
- Deed in the drawer. Deed your real estate in a way you believe to be fair, but don’t record the deed and don’t tell anyone what you’ve done. Boy will they be in for a surprise when they find the deed.
- Do it yourself. No need to waste money on an attorney when you can go online and create your own will.