Many people have a difficult time making estate planning decisions because they find it unpleasant to face their own mortality. Others recognize the importance but face hard choices based on specific issues with certain members of their family. This can be especially true when it comes to asset protection for high-net-worth Georgia residents.
An idealized version of estate planning often involves assets passed on in equal shares to children after death. However, financial planning professionals know that many household situations are not that simple. Children who have yet to demonstrate maturity and self-reliance, siblings who constantly fight with each other and blended families are merely a few of the potential scenarios facing an individual seeking to establish an estate plan.
However, there is a strategy for nearly every type of estate planning situation. Various forms of trust planning can establish the right to outright distributions, limits on gifts triggered by specific events or complete disinheritance. It is considered prudent planning to anticipate the different possibilities and plan accordingly. Once a plan is in place, informing the interested parties of what is to come can help prevent disputes down the road. It may also be wise to include a “letter of wishes” to be read at the time of the estate transition. This could clear up any ambiguities regarding the estate owner’s intentions.
Some difficult choices may need to be made, but it is generally better to be proactive. A failure to act can result in the state determining how an estate is to be settled. An estate planning lawyer can provide legal guidance and advice on these matters.