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Is sharing estate planning decisions with heirs a wise step?

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2020 | Uncategorized |

Creating an estate plan is a wise and responsible act in Florida. This is true regardless of a person’s age and financial situation. Even those who are younger and do not believe it is a priority can benefit from understanding the benefits of estate planning. Still, there is nuance to any legal document such as a will or a trust. For example, many people are unsure as to whether they should share their estate planning decisions with heirs and beneficiaries. This is a complicated determination that should be considered very seriously and based upon myriad factors. As with any key life decision, having experienced legal advice is imperative.

The realities of sharing estate planning information

It might sound simplistic, but when assessing the situation and debating whether to share estate planning choices with loved ones, the family dynamic is key. This may be useful to avoid disputes among the family members after the testator has died. Many might think family disagreements are limited to larger estates, but that is not the case. It can happen regardless of the finances. A survey asked participants about conflict over an estate and 44% said they experienced it. If people are expecting to receive certain properties or share them with others and the plan says something different, it is the foundation for dispute.

Estate planning addresses everything the person owns and it goes beyond money and financial accounts. There could be real estate, automobiles, jewelry, items of sentimental value and collectibles. The document does not necessarily need to solely address where property goes after death. It can also name a representative to control the person’s affairs with a power of attorney if he or she cannot handle them on their own. A living will can be useful to make medical decisions for the incapacitated. The person who is left with the decision-making responsibility should be informed of this beforehand.

Having legal representation can provide guidance and advice

Even the most well-prepared estate plan can stoke conflict with those left behind. The decision to name one agent over another as the decision-maker if the person is incapacitated can cause problems. Those who believe they should receive certain properties in the will or trust could be displeased when they do not get them. Deciding on how to address these possible challenges can be complicated and confusing. Having legal assistance from the start can help with these and other estate planning considerations. Calling for a consultation can be beneficial from the start.



Photo of Jennifer D. Sharpe