When Philip Seymour Hoffman tragically died in early February, he left behind three kids and their mother. He also let a $35 million estate and an old will that had not been updated since 2004. As a result, there is some concern about how his assets will be divvied up and whether or not his family will receive all that he meant to give them. Whether or not it is Hoffman’s own error that caused the problem or, as some suggest, shortsightedness from his estate planning attorney, the problem remains. It could cost his partner Mimi O’Donnell and his children millions, and his case should be a warning that everyone should get help with asset protection as they get older.
As you get older, it can be tough to cope with the idea that you aren’t going to live forever, and it becomes increasingly important to make sure your affairs are in order in case the worst should happen. Unfortunately, many people don’t even know the estate planning basics that will allow them to at least have a simple understanding of what they need to do. While an Estate Planning for Dummies book might be helpful, you’re better off getting help from an experienced estate planning attorney.
Talented and dependable estate planning attorneys are a great resource writing a will and determining how your assets will be handled if you pass away for a number of reasons. Because they are highly trained and educated, they know the ins and outs of every estate planning rule and regulation, so you are better able to avoid common mistakes that cost your family money. On top of that, they can provide great insights on how to proceed and make sure that every bit of your estate is accounted for during the process.
One thing to consider when trying to hire a lawyer that often gets overlooked is making sure you feel comfortable with them. Because you will have to share important information and the well-being of your family might be at stake, feeling comfortable with an attorney is important. In fact, it could prove to be just as important as their resume and track record.
In all reality, you have to be responsible enough to not go ten years without updating your will and put in the effort to come up with a proper estate plan. Not doing so has likely cost Hoffman’s family millions and was avoidable. The combination of seeking help from a legal professional and putting in the time and effort is vital if you want to protect your assets, and your family, effectively. Get more info here.