Discussing estate planning

Many individuals might find it difficult to discuss the eventual division and distribution of their estate with their family. However, recent research has suggested that putting off the conversation about wills and trusts can be detrimental. A goal of California estate planning is to remove any doubts about what is going to happen to a person’s assets after death as well as to cover unforeseen events, such as an accident or illness that inhibits one’s ability to make decisions. According to a report from UBS Investor Watch, approximately 50 percent of parents do not discuss.

Without telling heirs what to expect, there may be fights and disagreements, hurt feelings and unanswered questions after a benefactor passes away. Sometimes, parents and other benefactors have good reasons for why they might leave more money to one person than another, yet those reasons are not always clear. Going over a will or the terms of a trust gives heirs the opportunity to question decisions and get answers, limiting misunderstandings.

Talking openly about inheritances also gives parents the chance to voice concerns, such as anxiety about their children relying on their inheritance instead of working hard to support themselves. One way parents might prevent this is to instill a respect for money and self-reliance into their kids from a young age. Overall, although it may be difficult, families are typically happier when beneficiaries are involved in inheritance decisions, according to the UBS report.

A primary benefit of estate planning is to avoid the often stressful and public process of going through the probate courts. Families who feel uncomfortable discussing inheritances amongst themselves will certainly appreciate the privacy afforded to them by creating a solid estate plan. An attorney could assist by establishing trusts, drawing up wills and working to make sure all assets are included in a plan to avoid probate.

Source: NASDAQ, “Expensive Consequences of Not Having the Dreaded Inheritance Conversation Read more: http://www.nasdaq.com/article/expensive-consequences-of-not-having-the-dreaded-inheritance-conversation-cm383319#ixzz3BilApwjc“, Motley Fool, August 23, 2014

Source: NASDAQ, “Expensive Consequences of Not Having the Dreaded Inheritance Conversation Read more: http://www.nasdaq.com/article/expensive-consequences-of-not-having-the-dreaded-inheritance-conversation-cm383319#ixzz3BilApwjc“, Motley Fool, August 23, 2014