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  • Writer's pictureDuisters & Giarratano

Real Life Stories: He Waited Too Long.

Jack was a 60-year-old fun-loving guy with many close friends. He was never married and never had children. Jack had a large extended family, but he rarely saw or heard from them. After many years of work Jack had a sizable retirement account, multi-million-dollar home with a view, and a collection of unique personal items he had collected during his lifetime. Many of his close friends would often dine at his beautiful home and talk about how much they enjoyed their friendship.


His closest friend urged Jack to contact an estate planning attorney to begin the process of planning for his legacy. Jack had a few friends he thought should receive his asset when he died. These friends were there for Jack when he needed them most. Jack didn’t take it too seriously and a few years past. Jack sadly died unexpectedly a few years later never having completed a plan.


A cousin of his opened a probate. Jack’s entire estate would pass by California law to his next of kin. 20 people came forward – first and second cousins, some of which he had never met and many of which never knew his name! These 20 “family” members all shared in $4 million. His closest friends received nothing. The process took over two years and cost his estate over $80,000 in fees.

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