Friday, December 14, 2007

Let the Sunshine in . . .

A few weeks ago during at an annual review for one of our clients, they expressed concerns that their children didn't really understand their estate plans and were afraid that it could create arguments among them. Craig invited the family in to meet, discuss the trust, and ask questions. Open communication and a chance to ask questions is an essential part of successful estate planning. Not only for the creators of the trust, but for the beneficiaries as well.

Secrecy and misinformation causes erosion of trust, which leads to bad feelings -- or worse, disputes. Estate planning says you care about your family. A meeting where parents take their children into their confidence and really explain the terms of their trust and the reasoning behind them is an important and often moving event. Take some time while there's time to be had together and talk to your kids.

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You may not be aware of it but there may one thing in your house that one of your children wants dearly and she thinks that you know. It might be a photograph, something you made, something your parents gave to you, a personal item that with sentimintal value - She remembers you told her that it would be left for her.

You've forgotton all about it.

It's funny, but we've seen this again and again, it not always about the money . . .
Some of the most acrimonous disputes we've had to settle involve things that have little, if any, monetary value.

All in all the family learned a lot and the parents really appreciated knowing that everyone understood their objectives. The left feeling confident that things would be handled peacefully and according to plan.

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We work hard for our clients. Here's a pat on the back for Craig.

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