Danielle Mayoras, a Detroit-based estate planner and author of "Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights!" says Burger "didn't have simple provisions in his own will, such as his executors could sell real estate. He didn't give his family the power to sell real estate to pay taxes, so they had to get it approved by the court first."
When everything was said and done, because he hadn't hired an estate attorney to draft his will, Burger's family had to pay an extra $450,000 that they wouldn't have had to otherwise.
5. Buying health insurance with the lowest premium.
How it can cost you: Obviously, your budget is what it is, and better to have not-so-great health insurance than no health insurance. But Dan Maynard, president of Connecture, a Brookfield, Wis.-based company that provides sales-automation technology for the health insurance industry, says according to the data his company has collected, people who comparison-shop between plans and "purchase the one with the lowest premium end up paying more annually 96 percent of the time."
In other words, the premium may be cheap, but the co-pays and the portion of the costs you're responsible for are not.
6. Going with a cheaper mover.
How it can cost you: Kiley, the editor-in-chief of AOL Autos, isn't a moving expert, but he has some moving experience to share. In 2004, he moved from Ann Arbor, Mich., to New Jersey with an established operator, Allied, and says it cost him a staggering $6,500. Understandably, when he ended up moving back to Michigan, he wanted something cheaper. He found a website where he was able to bid for movers' business, and he did get a cheaper price at first. But it didn't work out that way.
"When you go with an operator like Mayflower or Allied, you get an experienced person who comes to your house and evaluates your stuff for an estimate," says Kiley, who is now a disciple of using an established, well-known moving company. "Going with a bidding system often means that the mover you choose will ask you to estimate. This is a problem because it's hard to estimate how many boxes will come out of an eight-room or larger house."
Kiley estimated incorrectly, and his mover showed up with a truck that was too small. Then when the mover went to the weigh station, Kiley was told what the actual bill would be, and it was far higher than the original quote.
"If you want to dispute it, you are confronted with the reality that they have all your stuff on their truck. Moreover, you probably have a real-estate closing hanging in the schedule," says Kiley, who ended up paying his movers more than $13,000. He says one of the movers also stole an audio speaker that was screwed to the exterior of the house.
There are undoubtedly plenty of horror stories from customers who have used big movers, but Kiley's story is nonetheless instructive. Going cheap, at least without doing your homework first, can often be the most expensive mistake you make.