An estate plan is not just about giving away assets and possessions. It’s an expression of your hopes and wishes for the future and the people you’re leaving behind.
You want to know not only that your belongings will be transferred successfully, but also that the family unity you spent your entire life creating and nurturing will be preserved as well. Well-drafted estate plan documents are important for achieving those goals and avoiding four common mistakes.
However, clear and open communication with and among heirs may be equally important, or perhaps even more important. Too often, when adult children are unprepared for their parents’ inevitable aging and passing, squabbles, rivalries, and misunderstandings can develop that threaten to cripple or destroy best-laid plans.
Your heirs need to be equipped to deal with a number of potentially sticky issues, and who better to assist them than you? Well thought out documents and conversations can allow you to speak for yourself while you still can, even when you’re no longer here to guide your loved ones through the process. Rest assured, though, that an estate planning professional with Hanscom Investment Services is available to support you. We welcome the opportunity to meet with you and your loved ones and help you avoid some of these common estate planning mistakes.
Issues for Heirs
You may need to prepare your children or other family members so they can deal with:
- Changing care needs. Who will decide if and when assisted living, home care or more advanced care is needed for yourself or for your spouse or other family member? Who will make those arrangements?
- The complexities of administering an estate or trust. There’s more involved than many people realize. It can be helpful to name an experienced, professional executor or trustee. You might also name a family member but suggest that they hire a professional to take on the more complex duties, such as managing assets or filing taxes.
- Avoiding elder financial abuse. You may not recognize when it happens, or may be too embarrassed to admit it. Protective measures are best put in place before you fall victim to scams or other financial abuse. Be aware of some of the ways seniors are targeted so that you might recognize scams that try to target you.
- Preventing or resolving conflicts between siblings. By anticipating possible conflicts and discussing potential resolutions – perhaps even putting in place a mechanism that everyone agrees upon to resolve disputes – family harmony may be preserved.
Get Started Now
Plentiful and open communication can help families avoid or at least significantly reduce family discord, which in turn helps protect and preserve family unity and wealth. Starting well before you need to put your plan in place can help everyone feel more at ease.
Start a conversation with your heirs soon. Create an atmosphere where everyone is comfortable and feels their voice will be heard. Listen to each family member’s ideas and concerns and encourage everyone to brainstorm solutions to potential conflicts. Family members are less likely to dispute a plan they had a hand in creating.
Contact an estate planning professional at Hanscom Investment Services at 800-656-4328, ext. 2236 to learn how we can help.†
†Securities and advisory services are offered through LPL Financial (LPL), a registered investment advisor and broker-dealer (member FINRA/SIPC). Insurance products are offered through LPL or its licensed affiliates. Hanscom Federal Credit Union is not registered as a broker-dealer or investment advisor. Registered representatives of LPL offer products and services using Hanscom Investment Services, and may also be employees of Hanscom Federal Credit Union. These products and services are being offered through LPL or its affiliates, which are separate entities from, and not affiliates of, Hanscom Federal Credit Union. Securities and insurance offered through LPL or its affiliates are:
Not Insured by NCUA or Any Other Government Agency / Not Hanscom Federal Credit Union Guaranteed / Not Hanscom Federal Credit Union Deposits or Obligations / May Lose Value
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