Most of the news that people hear or read about estate plans, trusts, wills and probate is negative. In reality most of the time outcomes are positive.
Over the years, much has been said and written regarding the tendency of media to focus on negative stories. It is often true in estate planning.
Stories about estates usually only appear because something has gone wrong. If everything works out as intended and an estate has no problems, there is not much to report on. However, this tendency to report on the negative masks the reality that most outcomes from estate planning are positive.
The Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog discussed this recently in "The Importance Of Positive Stories About Beneficiary/Trustee Relationships."
This is a very important point. If you read stories about how trusts have gone bad, for example, it should not prevent you from getting a trust yourself. Most trusts written by estate planning attorneys work as intended.
The negative stories are not presented to scare people away from trusts. They are presented so that people can learn from the mistakes that were made in those few trusts that do not work out.
If you do have concerns about estate planning because of the negative stories that you have read, then the best way to alleviate those concerns is to talk to an estate planning attorney. Let the attorney tell you why the particular plans went wrong and also help you understand how you can create an estate plan that learns from the mistakes.
Reference: Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog (May 9, 2016) "The Importance Of Positive Stories About Beneficiary/Trustee Relationships."