When the beloved comedian, Robin Williams, passed away in 2014, many were shocked and saddened. It was even more heartbreaking to learn that his family, though provided for in his will, spent years after his passing in court battling over items, budgets and Knick knacks due to the fact the language in Mr. William’s will was non-specific and overly vague.. While it is an incredibly difficult topic to discuss, this tragedy can provide insight into the importance of having a will and estate plan in place for yourself and your loved ones.
The Importance of Estate Planning
When you die without a will or estate plan in place, your assets are distributed according to state law instead of your wishes. This means that the people closest to you may not receive anything—or worse yet, they could be excluded from making decisions on your behalf. Additionally, if there is no will or estate plan in place, everything must go through probate court which can take months or even years to settle. This can cause financial strain on those you love most when they need it least.
To avoid this heartache and confusion during such an emotional time, it is important to have an experienced lawyer draft a comprehensive will and estate plan that adheres to your wishes. An attorney can help you navigate the complexities of tax laws and ensure that your assets are divided among beneficiaries as efficiently as possible. An additional benefit of having an estate plan is that it allows you greater control over who receives what assets upon your death—so you can make sure the right people get the right things at the right time.
The Lessons Learned From Robin Williams’ Story
It’s easy to think “it won’t happen to me” but unfortunately these types of stories occur more often than one might think. In fact, nearly two out of three American adults do not have a will or estate plan in place should something happen to them unexpectedly! The lesson we learn from Robin Williams’ story is that having a comprehensive estate plan helps protect everyone involved—and ensures that your wishes are honored after you pass away. That way, when the time comes for your loved ones to handle matters related to your death, they won’t be left with any surprises or unanswered questions about how best to proceed with dividing up your legacy.
No one ever wants to think about their own mortality but considering all potential scenarios before they arise is essential for protecting both yourself and those closest to you should anything unexpected happen down the line. By taking steps now to create an appropriate will or estate plan today, you can make sure that everyone ends up with what they deserve—and provide peace of mind for yourself and those closest to you knowing that all plans have been made accordingly should something happen unexpectedly down the line. After all, planning ahead now means less stress later on down the road!
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