Manchester by the Sea isn’t the first time Hollywood has built compelling stories hinging on the death of a loved one followed by the revelation that an unlikely or ill-suited guardian has been named to care for the deceased’s surviving offspring. Baby Boom (1987), Beaches (1988), Raising Helen (2004) and Life As We Know It (2010) are just a few examples of the “seemingly ill-suited for guardianship” film genre. These kinds of scenarios can make for dramatic, even Oscar-worthy, filmmaking. But in real life, it is better to learn from the important estate planning lessons in Manchester by the Sea. In summary, make sure you, your children, and your family members are accounted for and protected—without any extra drama—by having a transparent, well-structured estate plan in place.
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