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Roy, do you have any sense of what fraction of people try to do their estate planning and similar stuff involving complicated tax issues, on the cheap? I don't, and this is maybe a softball question, but I suspect it may be more than there ought to be.

In my own family, a great-uncle of mine died in about 1972. He had a very small estate, but he left small bequests in a will written on a standard form he got from the local stationery store. The bequest to me, and similar ones to some of my cousins, was held up because he did not specify that it should go to JABoa, infant (I was not yet 21). In Ontario at the time minors could not inherit without specific direction. I got it eventually, but this is not what Uncle Bill would have wanted, I am sure.

Settling my grandfather's estate was better, but his will had been written in 1930 or so and had not been revised when he died in 1976.

In both cases, I think they said to themselves, Grrr, I don't want to pay some damn lawyer all that money, and for what? I think the "for what" is making happen what you want to have happen, and the amount you pay is a small fraction of what you have at risk.

(JABoa hastens to add that I am not a lawyer, and I don't even play one on TV.)
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