One of the main reasons why estate planning experts in Seattle encourage people to see to such matters before it is too late is to avoid the potential for conflict that can erupt over their assets once they are gone. Some might think that built-in safeguards such as state intestate succession guidelines will prevent mass confusion over the administration of an estate from ever happening. Yet simply because such guidelines are in place does not mean that there will not be motions and legal wranglings on the part of multiple parties that can end up turning an estate case into a virtual quagmire of chaos.
There may be no better term to describe the probate case currently playing out involving the estate of a Texas real estate magnate. The decedent was known for being a colorful character in life who was definitely unconventional in his business dealings, and he seems to be intent on continuing that legacy from beyond the grave. Currently, no valid will is known to exist addressing the administration of his estimated $288 million estate. His widow filed to name temporary administrator of the estate shortly after his death, a move that was immediately opposed by his five children. Ultimately, the case was handed off to a local attorney, which may be for the best given that poor recordkeeping coupled with several defaulted loans on properties the decedent owned (as well as seemingly endless stream of creditors) call into question exactly how much the estate will end up being worth once all is settled).
Not many will have the assets require create the mess detailed in this story, yet any estate administration case can become complicated. Those needing assistance with them may find it in the form of an experienced attorney.