Survey: Family Drama Causes Estate Issues
Families face a variety of estate planning challenges, and family drama may be chief among them. In fact, 44 percent of planning professionals say family conflict is the biggest threat to estate planning this year, followed by tax reform (25 percent) and market volatility (12 percent), according to a survey by TD Wealth.
Though conflict may make planning a challenge, a careful estate plan can reduce future family feuds. Take these steps to minimize tension after you’re gone:
Use an experienced estate planner to ensure you have the proper planning documents in place to outline your intentions and appoint a fiduciary.
Hold frank conversations so everyone knows what to expect in the event of your death. Fewer surprises mean less discord.
If you are giving unequal gifts, tell your heirs why and document your rationale in an estate planning letter.
Do your family a favor by identifying and resolving these issue during your life in a well drafted estate plan. Otherwise these issues often get resolved in court at great expenses and at the additional cost of destroying family relationships.
(Attorney Robert A. Scalise, Jr. is a Partner of the law firm Ericson, Scalise & Mangan, PC located at 35 Pearl St., New Britain, CT. www.esmlaw.com. His practice concentrates on Elder Law, Estate Planning, Probate, Estate Administration, Title 19 Asset Preservation and Real Estate.)