It is a sad fact that the majority of adults in the United States are going through life without having executed any estate planning documents at all. Most people recognize the need to have a last will or a trust in place, but they procrastinate, feeling as though they will take the time to engage in estate planning when they have reached their twilight years.
You never know when your time is going to come. If you feel as though estate planning is something that only senior citizens need to concern themselves with, look no further than the case of Swedish author Stieg Larsson to see an example of what can happen when you fail to make advance preparations.
Larsson wrote the book The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and the story made its way onto the big screen. He had amassed a fortune valued at approximately $40 million when he died in 2004 at the age of 50 due to a heart attack.
The author lived with the same woman for 32 years. Given this long-term commitment and the size and scope of his financial resources, you would have to think that he would have wanted to provide something for her in the event of his passing.
As it turned out, the courts awarded his entire fortune to his brother and his father, disinheriting his girlfriend entirely.
It is better to be safe than sorry. If you have not yet made any preparations for the future, right now would be a good time to take action to arrange for a consultation with a qualified and experienced San Jose, CA estate planning attorney.