I have a dream today… that my little children will one day not be judged by the lack of my written intentions in a legal document but by the content of my estate plan.
Did you know that Martin Luther King, Jr. a great national icon who will forever hold his legacy in history did not have a will in place? His lack of estate planning culminated into a disastrous feud among squabbling heirs, mismanagement of his assets, and never ending court battles over the control of his estate.
A simple will allows you to unequivocally state your intentions as to who you would like to receive your personal property such as jewelry, artwork, and furniture. Unfortunately, for MLK, this was not the case. He allegedly gifted his handwritten letters and transcripts of speeches relating to the civil rights movement to someone other than his children. This spiraled downward into an unceasing contention between his heirs and the holder of these valuable, historic documents as to who the rightful owner is.
The critical question is what did MLK intend? I guess we will never know.
However, you can learn from MLK’s mistake by having your South Florida estate planning attorney draft your Last Will and Testament today. By clearly stating your intentions as to who gets your personal property in this legal document, you can avoid bitter conflicts among your heirs as well as unending, expensive court battles and irreparable heartache among those you love.
A Last Will and Testament also allows you to address your wishes concerning burial or cremation instructions. Also, you can appoint a guardian for your minor children in the event you become incapacitated or pass away.