Warren Burger’s Story
Warren Burger was Chief Justice of the United States, so he knew a thing or two about the law. Unfortunately, he did not know as much about estate planning as he thought he did. He thought most wills contained far too much verbiage. He wrote his own Will, keeping it to the very concise length of 176 words. While the will did an adequate job of disposing of his property, it failed to include important provisions that could have saved his heirs hundreds of thousands of dollars in estate taxes.
Lawyer’s comment: Brevity sometimes comes at a high price. While no one likes to have a lengthy document to plough through, it is usually necessary to include provisions giving your trustee the additional powers they need to best manage your affairs, and to arrange things in such a way as to minimize taxes. Although these clauses add bulk, they are there for good reason.