Planning Ahead Reduces Family Conflict
Planning for the division of assets and other desires upon someone’s death can be an uncomfortable and difficult process. Often, parents or other benefactors want to assume that their heirs and beneficiaries will understand their end-of-life wishes and cooperate in dividing their assets and making funeral arrangements. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. An overly simple or ambiguous will (or the lack of a will entirely) can sometimes lead to division and conflict between family members at the most sensitive time of their lives.
A recent industry publication outlines some tips and solutions to prevent such discord after the death of a loved one. According to the report, the most important piece of advice is to start the estate planning process sooner rather than later. Although it can be tricky for an heir to bring up estate planning issues with a parent, it is important to remember that an effective and clear estate plan can give everyone involved peace of mind that the wishes of the parent will be honored upon their death, while limiting conflict among the heirs. Without a clearly outlined estate plan, two or more heirs may disagree in good faith about the wishes of their deceased loved one, and the disagreement can lead to divisions that certainly would not have been desired by the loved one in the first place.
The selection of beneficiaries to an estate can have widespread implications in the efficiency and cost of dividing assets. With the help of an experienced Houston estate planning attorney, families can be sure that the assets are as protected as possible from taxation and other expenses upon the death of the benefactor. Qualified attorneys have the knowledge and experience of estate and tax law that is needed to ensure the beneficiaries are receiving as much of the estate as legally possible.
In the planning of an estate, a benefactor should select an executor of their estate. The executor is responsible for carrying out the terms of the will and should be a trusted and capable party. Although executors are not permitted to change a will or distort the wishes of the deceased, they are in a position that could result in problems if they do not act competently and in good faith in their role as the executor of the estate. It is important for all parties to act upon qualified advice and set forth an intentional plan to ensure that the wishes of the deceased are honored upon their death.
Contact a Houston Estate Planning Lawyer Today
The estate planning lawyers at McCulloch & Miller have served Houston area families for years, and successfully prepared estates involving complex or non-traditional asset division. Our attorneys provide clients with advice that allows them to plan out all aspects of their end-of-life scenario, with a focus on giving all parties confidence and peace of mind that the wishes of their loved ones will be respected. We handle all types of Houston estate planning matters, including essential estate planning, values-based estate planning, elder law, veterans’ benefits, crisis planning, probate administration., charitable planning, and business succession. The estate planning lawyers with McCulloch & Miller can assist you in deciding how to protect your family and loved ones for years to come. Contact our office at 713-333-8900 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney on our team.