How many people really know you? Your spouse, parents, best friend, or business partner?
These people and more may try to “help” with your estate after you are gone, unless you leave a clear and unambiguous estate plan that specifically states your intentions for your belongings and describes all the details of how you want your assets administered and distributed.
Consider the case of the late Nelson Mandela, which was discussed in a recent Forbes article titled “Will Nelson Mandela's Heirs Tarnish His Legacy Through Greed And Fighting?”
Closer to home, someday you may have close relations or friends trying to divide up your assets in a way that you never intended. You may even have relatives you've never met claiming a right to some or all of your estate. Others who feel they know you the best might try to help interpret your estate plan to their own benefit.
Avoid hard feelings, strain on already delicate emotions, and fighting among your relatives and friends by carefully thinking through your estate plan with the input of trusted advisors. And then set out your plan in clear and unambiguous documents that will accurately convey your wishes.
Reference: Forbes, December 13, 2013: “Will Nelson Mandela's Heirs Tarnish His Legacy Through Greed And Fighting?”