Does the left hand know what the right hand is doing?

We know you’ve heard the saying “the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing”. When it comes to estate planning, this colloquial phrase is critical. Every legal document has implications. In some cases, these documents can contradict each other. In order to truly carry out your wishes, you must be sure that all documents you execute work in concert with each other.

For example, you have an attorney draft a Last Will and Testament and leave the interest in your home to your four children. You appoint your second oldest daughter as your Personal Representative because she is the most reliable of your children. In talking with her a few years after you sign the Will, you decide that you will execute a Quit Claim deed to the house to add your daughter, making her a joint tenant with rights of survivorship. Why is this a problem? If you pass away, by law, the house will automatically pass to your daughter. While she is certainly under a moral obligation to follow your wishes, the house is legally hers by the deed! It would not be a part of your estate to distribute according to your Will! She can simply choose not to divvy the interest up.

This is a recipe for disaster and it is because the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing! All documents must be drafted carefully and in agreement with each other to ensure your true intentions are followed. This is not a process to be taken lightly and requires professional expertise. Contact C&G to assist you today!!

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