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Why Family Dynamics Are Important in Estate Planning

 Posted on October 26, 2016 in Estate Planning

DuPage County estate planning lawyersWhen creating an estate plan, there are many factors and issues to consider. Unfortunately, family dynamics do not always get quite enough attention. As such, many families are still left with a lot of conflict upon the passing of a loved one. Learn how to avoid this common issue by taking the time to consider the impact that family dynamics may have on your estate plan.

How Will Your Decisions Affect Your Family?

During the estate planning process, most people sit down and plan in one of two ways. The first group has a strategic plan - the eldest child might receive important family heirlooms, a wedding ring may be passed onto a daughter instead of a son, or allotments might be provided based upon what the guarantor sees as "fair." The second group typically considers their own sentiment. They might remember a granddaughter lovingly adoring a jewelry box, or special moments with a father and his son while working on dad's classic car, which may lead them to leave these items based upon their sentimental connection. Yet these are not always the most effective ways to estate plan.

Sometimes, when you are in a moment where you see the sentimental value, or a methodology, you miss the way dynamics might come into play. For example, if you have more than one daughter, it is possible that both wanted their mother's wedding ring. Alternatively, a guarantor may fail to consider how children might view the gifts or loans doled out to a sibling while you were living if the inheritance is equal and the loans or gifts are not mentioned or documented.

None of this means that you cannot leave items as you wish. Instead, it simply indicates that you should carefully consider how you write out your estate plan, and that you take family dynamics into account. For example, will your children be able to work together in the decision-making process, or would they squabble and fight? Would a single executor remember to consult with your other children, or would it be better to keep everyone in check with a second or even third executor? Do you have the documentation to support how loans or gifts are considered in your estate plan, or is there a provision that you can use to clearly outline why you made the decisions you did?

Contact Our DuPage County Estate Planning Lawyers

Because there are so many factors to consider, and because the decisions you make in estate planning are so important, it is highly encouraged that seek legal guidance. The experienced DuPage County estate planning lawyers at Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC have more than 40 years of legal experience. Let us put our knowledge, creativity, and personalized services to work for you. Call 630-665-2500 and schedule a consultation today.


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