No Will? No Way!
A grand resort called The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, home of the first in the Nation vote in the national elections, was owned by a gentleman by the name of Mr. Neil Tillotson. The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel is a magnificant historical grand resort situated on a 15,000 acre private estate with its own pond, golf course and ski hill with lifts. My youngest learned to ski there at age two. It is a beautiful picturesque historical gem.
Mr. Tillotson, apparently, was working with his attorney on a will. That will was left unexecuted and unsigned on the day of his death on October 17, 2001 at the ripe old age of 102. No will? no way!
It is incredulous to me that someone his age, an owner of a vast fortune and a booming business which included The Balsams Resort, died without a will. This is also called "dying intestate". Lack of planning can put your estate into a very deep hole that is hard to climb out of.
Not only was this something that could have been avoided, it created a tsumami like pile of problems that resulted in the eventual shut down of this iconic resort and forced the sale of The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel, a disputed transaction that many years later is still being wrestled about in the New Hampshire court system involving many attorneys and discontented persons.
Talk about a lack of planning for the inevitable!
Here's a lady who has thought things through. I admire her for her tackling a tough subject.
When you reach the age of 80, you had better consider, at the very least, signing a will because the runway is getting shorter and here's what happens when you don't have a will:
- you lose your chance to decide how much and to whom your assets should go to
- you can create a greater tax burden on your estate
- your assets will be probated in the court system
- your family members will be unhappy, argumentative, and perhaps downright angry
- there is no recourse-no second chance
For a do it yourself will, check out Legal Zoom. I, however, would highly recommend you use the expertise and services of an estates and trusts attorney for preparing and properly executing your will.
Don't wait until age 80 to sign a will. As the Nike brand shouts loud and clear - JUST DO IT!
Have you known anyone who died intestate? What happened? Do tell!