Unfortunately, money has a habit of bringing out the worst in people, even in the best of families. One of the most important reasons to get your estate plan handled is to keep your family out of conflict. And, yet, without the right counsel, your estate plan could actually cause conflict.
Here’s what to do to make sure that’s not the case for your family:
1. Communicate Your Plans Ahead of Time
It is not uncommon for us to recommend inviting adult children into the planning process and let them know ahead of time why you have made the decisions you have made. This can be a difficult conversation and one we are extremely skilled at handling. We don’t recommend doing it without the guidance of trusted counsel.
2. Do Not Put One Sibling In Charge of Another Sibling’s Inheritance
Unless agreed to ahead of time by both siblings, putting one sibling in charge of another will almost always lead to resentment and disagreement. You can avoid this with strong communication and agreement ahead of time. Or you can appoint someone else to care for your child’s inheritance. We can help you think that through, so contact us if a child in your family will need inheritance protection.
3. Transfer Some Now Instead of All Later
Consider how you can begin to transfer assets to your children during your lifetime when you can influence how they use those assets and you can pass on your values right along with them, instead of waiting until you are gone to pass on everything you’ve worked so hard for.
4. Make Changes When Necessary
Estate planning is an ongoing process, and when changes occur in your life – even if it’s the divorce of a child or a new grandchild – your plan needs to change as well.
5. Pass On More Than Just Your Money
Most estate plans focus only on your tangible assets, but your most valuable assets are your values, insights, stories, and experience. We have a unique process in our office for passing on these assets that are most often lost when someone dies. And, honestly, they are what will keep your family focused on what really matters after you are gone.
6. Choose the right advisor
Developing a strong working relationship with us will allow you the freedom to frankly discuss your family dynamics, plan accordingly and keep the family involved every step of the way.
This article is a service of the Law Office of Keoni Souza, LLC, an estate planning law firm in Honolulu, Hawaii. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That's why we offer a Family Wealth Planning Session, ™ during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before, and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by contacting our office today to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.
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