The Fundamental Elements of a Stress-Free Estate Plan, Pt. 2

Planning ahead and drafting an estate plan can reduce a lot of stress and worry in your life once you know that you family and loved ones are protected in your estate. The first part of this article began to list specific aspects besides determining the inheritance of your heirs that you should also decide upon when creating an estate plan to make it as stress-free as possible for you and your family’s future. This part of the article continues with more tips to create a stress-free estate plan.

More Elements of a Stress-Free Plan

Create a financial framework for heirs too young to manage an inheritance
Children and grandchildren may be too young to manage the inheritance that they receive when you die. It is important to set up a financial framework and place a person of knowledge and trust in a managerial position to ensure that their inheritance is used wisely. The most common way to do this is to set up a trust with a knowledgeable trustee who understands the family dynamics and your wishes for their inheritance.

Provide for loved ones with special needs
A special needs trust allows for a loved one with a disability to still qualify for government benefits while providing money to supplement their needs. There are multiple kinds of special needs trusts that can help depending on the specific needs, and an attorney can help you decide which is best for your loved one’s situation.

Protect a portion of your estate in case your current spouse remarries
If there is a chance that your spouse will remarry after your death, it can be smart to protect a portion of your estate for your remaining heirs. It can prevent issues arising between the new spouse and the heirs of your estate regarding what your remarried spouse should receive.

Address the needs of each child
If possible, try to address the specific needs of each of your children. If one child is doing better financially in life than another, if one has multiple children while another has no kids, or if one of your children has other special circumstances it can be helpful to address each specifically in the estate plan. At the very least, try to sit down with your children and address why you are apportioning your estate according to these needs. It can prevent bitterness and resentment among your children later, which in turn can prevent a nasty legal battle over your estate.

Prevent or discourage challenges to the estate
The best way to prevent or discourage challenges to your estate is to communicate your wishes clearly to everyone involved. This can be done in a group setting or privately, one on one, with each person that has been included or specifically excluded from the estate. By explaining your wishes and the reasons behind your estate planning, there is much less ambiguity after you are gone. This prevents misinterpretation, angst, and jealousy amongst your heirs that often leads to challenges over the terms of the estate.

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