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Estate planning works best when shared with family members

Family members may find it interesting to discuss financial issues, but generally that does not carry over to freely discussing topics of inheritance and estate planning. That is a mistake that families in Texas and elsewhere should correct wherever possible. Having open and detailed discussions about financial status and estate planning for the inevitable events of the future can be an emotional relief for all concerned.

Experience proves that those families that take up such topics and discuss them in detail lay the groundwork for better relations during life and a more efficient transition at death. No one really wants to see one's heirs fighting over assets, or sacrificing great amounts of time and money to get unprepared estates straightened out under circumstances of stress and uncertainty. Everyone enjoys better peace of mind with proper lifetime planning.

If an individual or a married couple are contemplating the planning process, they should go directly to their children or other family members and discuss their needs early on, prior to serious illnesses and incapacitating disabilities. By conducting the process early, when everyone is in good health, so much more can be planned and put in place. It is so much easier in that way for family members to be better informed regarding financial plans that will occur on a loved one's death.

If there are complex assets or financial issues to discuss, these should be formally scheduled in a family discussion that will take place with certainty. Hoping for the right chance to come along is not good enough because such meetings may never occur. In Texas and other states, it is never helpful for heirs to be left in the dark about where to find the assets and financial records, nor is it beneficial for anyone be in the dark about what dispositions will be made. It often helps to have an estate planning attorney at the hub of the discussions to coordinate the process for greater efficiency and success.

Source: ironmountaindailynews.com, "Essential conversations about family wealth", Marc Mogan, May 2, 2017

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