A Stampede of Mistakes
Shopping around for the ‘best price’ could lead to a stampede of mistakes, which will leave your family with an expensive and unintended consequences
By David W. Weygandt
Before making any sizable investment, the conventional wisdom tell us to several estimates or quotes before pulling the trigger. Estate planning is not one of those investments where this is wise wisdom. Shopping around is a bad idea when trying to take care of estate planning your family. Going with the cheapest or most affordable plan possible can result in expensive and unintended consequences. Your loved ones will know whether you actually ‘took care of it.’ And if you didn’t, they will be left picking up the pieces, and will be paying the price you didn’t.
Shopping around assumes you know what you are looking for and you can actually compare the different options with objectivity. This does not typically exist in the estate planning process.
Building a house isn’t much different from building your estate plan. Both keep your family safe and comfortable in the event you are not there.
Without a secure foundation your house will be plagued with issues, and will cost a substantial amount to be repaired later on.
Estate planning is no different. Without a secure foundation (or no foundation at all) your family will likely be tied up in the court process to clean up the mess.
However, there are some key & obvious differences when you are shopping for and purchasing the component parts of a house and an estate plan.
For example, when you are building a house, you can select brick, stone, siding and within each category there are many options, both expensive and affordable. Once you select a particular type, you can contact suppliers requesting their price for that stone.
The ultimate goal of this exercise is to select the most affordable, reliable, or efficient option the budget will allow. This happens all the time, and this is a huge mistake in the estate planning context.
Sometimes the scale will be tipped in favor of a more expensive option as a result of some other factor. Understanding the other factors is critical to make sure you are not making a stampede of mistakes.