Estate Management – It’s not just about a Will

Lawrence Inlow, 46, was killed instantly when struck in the head by the rotor blade of a helicopter. As is the central issue of many of my posts he died without a Will.

It is not uncommon for a person to die intestate but Inlow was the in house lawyer for a major United States insurance company and he was worth over $175 million.

You would think that a lawyer would have executed a Will!!!

The estate had to be distributed under the Indiana laws of intestacy – the Court appointed an administrator (the deceased would have appointed one under a Will); Due to the size of the estate and the fact that Inlow had been married twice and had children from both marriages there was protracted litigation.

Although we don’t like to think about it the chance of a person dying is 100%. Hopefully those of you reading this will live long, happy and healthy lives, but accidents occur and we owe it to our families and friends to manage our affairs as best as possible. Having a Will allows you to direct your estate in the way that you wish, instead of relying on the local intestacy laws.

However it is not just a Will that you need to think about when managing your affairs but things such as life insurance, disability, and income protection insurances – particularly if you are a small business owner.

Car registration requires compulsory third party insurance, a mandatory condition for membership of many professional bodies is public indemnity insurance. Sadly many of us don’t extend that same type of thinking as to what would happen to our businesses if we were to die or suffer from illness. It is time to start thinking about managing our affairs otherwise others will be left to do this for us.

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