Monday, June 1, 2009

Trying to Plan an Estate Around Specific Assets

Unless there are compelling reasons why a specific asset should go to a specific person, it is strongly discouraged to plan around specific assets. This is be called the “Ironing Board Will”

The problem: Including all specific assets in a will or trust, (even the ironing board hence “ironing board will”) to go to specific persons, there are chances that such assets will get lost or be disposed of by the time of death and it makes the Trustee or Executor responsible to the beneficiaries to find the assets or explain why they are not in the estate.

More practically if a estate plan is based on a division of specific assets to specific beneficiaries, if some are sold before death then the estate plan can become unbalanced and could result in an estate plan that was different than the intent of the decedent.

It is usually better to leave a limited amount of assets by specific bequest and the rest by way of a percentage of the estate.

Joseph E. Deering

632 Arizona Avenue
Santa Monica, California 90401
Telephone (310) 393-0701