Many people do not like planning for "the inevitable," but most know it is important. A good ‎estate plan covers all the contingencies.‎

My brother-in-law, Jason, is a lawyer. Among other talents, he helps clients with estate planning. I studied this subject in ‎law school, ‎but he explains the practical importance of estate planning better than anyone I have ever heard. ‎A "will contest" usually means the parties either will wind up in court or will spend significant resources disputing the intentions of the testator. For better or for ‎worse, the ‎court has to make a best-guess at the intentions of any unclear terms in the will. ‎As Jason explains, this is because the star-witness is six feet ‎under and not available to testify or clean up the “messy” documents that are being challenged and reviewed.

Imagine the people in your life. When you “permanently retire,” your survivors will carry memories of you. Imagine the people you know and love going to court to decide where you should be buried or what you meant to do with your estate’s assets. Although it could have been avoided with good planning, this is the gist of what happened in Marino v. Marino (N.J. 2009).