Holidays are a great opportunity to discuss estate plans


Every December, people in California and across the U.S. prepare to gather with friends and family to celebrate the holidays. While most people are focused on catching up with one another and enjoying their time together, it is also a great opportunity to have important discussions with loved ones. People with estate planning issues may want to consider taking some time this holiday season to address their estate plan issues with potential heirs and family members. With the right approach, the holidays can be the perfect time to address this delicate, but important, subject.

A recent study shows that as many as 64% of all Americans do not even have a will, which can make for an unmitigated disaster for family members and loved ones in the event of that person's death. Family members may fight over assets and the potential for tremendous legal fees becomes a significant threat to family wealth.

As people age and take stock of their lives and their financial assets, the need to address their future financial plans grows more significant. Nobody likes to think about what would happen in the event of a death or illness, but it is important that people prepare for the inevitable. By doing so, family members have clear inheritance expectations and heightened understanding of their roles, leading to the likelihood of a smooth probate and asset transfer process, along with less chance of litigation and infighting between heirs.

The holidays are fast approaching and people who want to take this opportunity to address their estate plan with loved ones should consult with an experienced California estates and trusts attorney as soon as possible. They can provide the necessary legal guidance, but also help counsel people through the difficulties of having this talk with loved ones.

Source: The Week, "6 tips for navigating the estate-planning talk," Sheryl Nance-Nash, Dec. 8, 2014

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