When a person says they want to leave everything “to my estate” [their estate], they are often surprised to find out that this is a broken plan.
I know folks do not read my posts to get the third degree. But, this is serious stuff.
Instead, I encourage my Clients to pick specific beneficiaries, use a will and identify a quarterback to administer an estate.
If you are wondering about the quarterback process for an estate plan, please take one of my upcoming classes.
The alternative is this: telling the whole world that we don’t care and we want our remaining savings spent on creditors and probate costs.
Even if you you only have $100, wow…how nice would it be to pass that money onto a grandchild versus Comcast.
To My Estate is Not a Beneficiary
The reason “to my estate” is not a beneficiary is because it doesn’t identify specific heirs or decedents.
The idea behind picking a beneficiary is to offer precision so our Court System isn’t required to guess or use laws that contradict our intentions.
The idea of protecting against dead beneficiaries is the process of dying testate (the opposite of dying intestate).
My Will Versus My Estate
Beneficiary forms and wills do a great job of helping loved ones administer our stuff. Whether folks use the per stirpes method or a different process, doing so can really take the pressure off of a probate court and loved ones.
What Does To My Estate Feel Like?
Again, I don’t mean to be critical, but I think this post calls for it. Stating “to my estate” is lazy. In my experience, people telling their bankers and financial advisors they want to leave their account in a hodgepodge mess is literally being one step away from doing something wonderful for our loved ones.
Doing the opposite feels a lot like this: