Sometimes the biggest mistakes that people make with their estate plans are the simplest ones. People do things that they could have easily avoided and that ends up costing their estate time and money later on. A case in New York is an extreme example of just how costly minor mistakes can be.
Multi-millionaire, Elmer H. Bobst, passed away over 30 years ago. He left behind Letters Testamentary that were used to distribute the assets in his estate. For years, that settled the matter. However, a Will that Bobst created after the Letters has recently been found. The Will distributes his estate differently than the Letters. This creates a large problem for the estate. So large, that a Court has decided to reopen the estate and hold a trial to determine which document should be used.
Bobst made two simple mistakes that if he had not made, the estate would have avoided this mess. It appears that he did not destroy old documents, the Letters Testamentary, when he made a new Will. That was a mistake. Another mistake was not leaving his Will somewhere that it could easily be found without being discovered 30 years after the fact.
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