Proper estate planning requires various “what if” scenarios. Creating documents that adheres to your priorities is the initial step while accounting for a certain level of flexibility in case circumstances change. Open lines of communication with children helps them to understand certain decisions made, hopefully sidestepping hard feelings in the future.
Careful steps for kids
Starting the estate planning process is an in-depth process that can easily become emotionally-charged. While attention to detail is important to potentially sidestep family dysfunction can become the outcome. Acknowledging the possibility can help prevent future drama and hard feelings, particularly when it comes to your children.
Selecting an executor is also an important part of the process. Many parents default to the eldest child for the fiduciary role more out of a sense of tradition. However, being first-born is not a qualifier, particularly if there are conflicts with other siblings or the first-born is particularly temperamental.
The choice of who makes health care and end-of-life decisions can create dissension. Varied religious beliefs and philosophies can clash with other sibling. End of life decisions may fly in the face of those who are more devout that creates unnecessary conflict during a difficult time.
Looking for advisers outside the family can help curb inter-family disputes. Professionals in this area will not hold back in telling families what they need to hear, as opposed to what they want to hear. Without an emotional connection, an adviser can be candid and tell the truth about what works and what doesn’t.
Estate planning combines personal issues and legal matters. Help from an attorney can help to sort out the problems and come to a decision that is in the best interests of parents with minimal, if any, conflict.