VanNess & VanNess, P.A.

Showing love through estate planning

According to a survey from Merrill Lynch, 70 percent of baby boomers believe that receiving money under a will or trust is an expression of love. From an estate planning perspective, this can be problematic as millennials don't necessarily look at it the same way Instead, they see money as a way for older generations to exert influence on younger people. Millennials are also less likely to believe that money should necessarily be divided equally among all beneficiaries.

To a younger person, it is fine to consider other factors such as the financial needs of those involved and other relevant variables. However, those who are over the age of 50 may want to split an estate equally, as they feel it is the best way to show equal love.

One way to avoid inheritance issues among family members is to have a conversation about it as soon as possible. This may make it possible for parents to explain to their children why they made their decisions. Doing so early can make it easier to get everyone on the same page and to avoid shock and confusion when a will is read.

To reduce the risk of family disputes holding up the settling of an estate, legal counsel will often suggest that periodic meetings be held with children and other close relatives to keep them informed when changes to an estate plan is made. For testators with several children having different needs, it might be advisable to look outside of the family when appointing an executor so as to reduce the risk of discord during probate..

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