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Don't worry, let my kids figure out my estate when I'm gone

I've talked about estate planning with thousands of people.  Every once and a while I hear something like: "Let my kids sort it out when I'm gone".

When I hear that, I jokingly tell the person "I hope I get your probate work!".

Most people think they will live a long life, then the surviving spouse will take over what is left, then the rest will go to the kids.  Sure, this sort of do nothing approach is OK, so long as you understand that life doesn't always go according to plan.

Once I mention things like the incredible costs of skilled nursing home care, kids with creditor issues, ex-wives, bankruptcies, etc., they usually lean in and start getting concerned.

Estate planning always turns out to be a pittance when it comes to the kinds of costs that can occur without any estate planning documentation in place.

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