The main reason why estate planning experts in Rochester encourage people to see to this process while they are still able is to avoid the confusion that can ensue when they are gone. Without documentation spelling out one's wishes (or resolving any pending business affairs they may have had), those left behind may only speculate as to one's true intentions. Such speculation can often result in discord as different parties claim to know what a decedent truly wanted.
Such are the claims being made by many involved in a dispute between a New York church and the widow of its former pastor, who has been ordered to vacate the home the two shared. The pastor supposedly sold the home to the church back in 1995. Representatives from the church say that the couple had been allowed to continue living in the home even after the pastor retired 13 years prior to his recent passing. They also claim that the pastor himself wanted his wife removed from the home within 90 days of his death.
The pastor's widow, however, contends the story of the sale of the home is not true. She says that her husband transferred ownership of the home to the church in 2016 after congregation members told him that she was having an affair (a claim she denies). She also says that her husband assured her that she would be taken care of once he was gone.
Whether or not the pastor left a will stipulating his wishes (or if the property in question even still belonged to him) was not reported. This case may, however, highlight the importance of one leaving a prepared estate plan behind to deal with such matters. Those needing help developing such a plan may find it from an experienced estate attorney.