According to a new report from the BMO Wealth Institute, individuals and families need to focus additional attention to the emotional aspects of an estate plan. Traditionally, the primary focuses during the creation of an estate plan included easing the burden of estate administration, minimizing taxes, and ensuring that the proper documents are in place. The new report details the need for a focus on the emotional impact that the loss will take on those left behind, with a goal of minimizing family strife.
As part of the report, people were asked to respond to the following question: “What are you leaving behind: family conflict or a memorable legacy?” The results revealed that more than half of the respondents believe that family conflict after the death of a loved one is the most concerning aspect of not having “early and ongoing estate planning conversations.” In addition, respondents listed the following concerns with regard to the failure to have discussions with loved ones about estate planning:
- Unpleasant surprises after a loved one dies
- Legal issues
- Financial or tax related issues
- Complications with administration
Interestingly, the study also revealed that the majority of people who have adult children have had at least one conversation with their children about their estate planning goals. A fewer number, approximately 64% of respondents, stated that they have had at least one conversation with their parents about their parents’ estate planning goals. Only 33% of those individuals characterized that conversation as “detailed,” however.
The results of this study underscore the importance of having conversations with your loved ones about your estate planning goals. To learn more about creating an effective estate plan, contact the experienced Anaheim trust attorneys at the Law Office of James F. Roberts & Associates, APC, today. Call our office at (714) 459-5481 for a consultation.