Monday, July 17, 2023
One of the top pieces of advice that financial and estate planners give is to discuss estate plans with loved ones. This does not necessarily mean dollar figures; instead, it means setting intentions with your family members for your estate.
This approach is not one-size-fits-all. Another option is to include side letters that are separate from the legal document but are a tool to provide context to family members. For example, if parents give a gift, like a down payment for a house to one child, they might make sure the other child is given an extra distribution to offset this price. Being able to articulare this decision might eliminate tensions when these children are experiencing grief and not necessarily thinking clearly about the approach.
For more information see Debbie Carlson “A Will Can Spllit a Family. How to Avoid the Hurt.” Barron’s, July 15, 2023.
Special thanks to Joel C. Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.