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How to handle family issues when estate planning

A TD Wealth poll found that 44 percent of respondents said that family conflicts were the biggest obstacle when it comes to estate planning. This is because there are more blended families in Florida and throughout the country. It is also not uncommon for one spouse to be much older than the other is, which can create problems when trying to create an estate plan.

While parents may believe that splitting assets in an equal manner is fair, this may not be the case. For instance, giving all the children an even share of a family business when they didn't all participate in the company may not be ideal. To prevent family fights, it can be a good idea for parents to talk to their children to address their goals and plans. This may help beneficiaries better understand that assets are being divided in a way that meets their needs instead of serving as an attempt to punish them.

After creating the plan, it is a good idea to review it on a regular basis. It can also be worthwhile to go over the specifics of the plan after changes to the tax code. Major life events, such as birth, marriage or divorce, can also be ideal times to review the language of a will or trust.

Working with an attorney may make it possible to create an estate plan that allows for the timely transfer of personal property to beneficiaries. Those who wish to avoid probate could put assets into a trust or title them so that they go to a beneficiary upon their death. While a pour-over will must go through probate, it can help ensure that assets are titled in the name of a trust designed to benefit future generations.

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