I met with a client the other day who couldn’t decide who should get some items of personal property in their wills. Curio cabinet, guns, etc…. Now, I am a sentimental guy and I have many “treasures” at home but I think a lot of us get mis-directed by these small valued items. In this case the clients are disinheriting their children and given their money to many charities; mostly animal charities. This is noble and I am glad for them as it is clear they love their animals. However, at this point they have unsigned wills so all their assets will go to their kids rather than the animal charities… and all because they can’t decide about the curio cabinet! I will acknowledge I got a little mad at them. I told them they need to decide who gets the curio cabinet and sign their wills. I explained that if their feelings are really that strong about disinheriting their kids, in favor of the animal charities, then they need to take action!
The fact is that unsigned estate planning documents such as wills, trusts and powers of attorney are IN-EFFECTIVE if they are not properly signed. It looks good on paper but if it’s not signed it’s WORTHLESS!
Don’t procrastinate. Get your documents signed and then change them if you want. As a client once told me, “it’s never going to be 100% perfect.” He’s right. There are always things that change so get it done and then update it when things change!