When people decide to create an estate plan and determine how to divide up their estate, they are also given the opportunity to express their values. One of the keys to success is to avoid putting the focus on taxes alone but to decide what they would like to accomplish.
There are a number of non-tax issues to be considered, according to the Nightly Business Report in "What you don't know about estate planning will cost you."
Among the issues are:
- Giving to charity is about more than just trying to get a possible deduction. Financially supporting good causes that you believe in, is important in and of itself. When you do it and explain why, you also help instill the same values in younger family members.
- When you decide how to divide up your estate between your children and other family members, remember that avoiding conflicts within the family is important. You should be cautious about ways in which your plans could create those conflicts. It does not mean that everyone must receive the same amount. Sometimes it is equitable to give people unequal inheritances. However, the reasons for doing so, should be explained.
- If you value the hard work that it took to acquire your assets, you should make sure your heirs do as well. This will make it less likely that they will waste their inheritances. If that could be a problem for some of your heirs, then your estate plan can work around it with various trust arrangements.
An estate planning attorney can advise you on creating an estate plan that fits your unique circumstances.
Reference: Nightly Business Report (April 25, 2018) "What you don't know about estate planning will cost you."