When a family member passes away there is always a lot to consider. Besides all the funeral arrangements, his or her estate has to be dealt with. That is often where things get messy. Taxes are always an issue when it comes to inheritance. However, with the increase in the estate tax threshold, most people don’t have to worry too much about them.
That being said, as it turns out, taxes aren’t really a huge problem when a family member passes away, anyway. The real problem all comes down to family. In other words, the real threat to estate planning is family squabbles. In fact, according to a recent poll by TD Wealth, 44 percent of accountants, trust officers, and attorneys say family conflicts are the biggest problem for estate planning.
So-called “modern families” are a big reason for these findings. “We see more blended families, multiple ex-spouses, kids from prior marriages and situations where one spouse is much younger than the other,” said Ray Radigan, head of private trust at TD Wealth. “These fact patterns can pose problems.”
This is why estate planning is so important. The only way to see your estate divided the way you want is to create an estate plan detailing your wishes. Without a will or an estate plan, you leave everything up to the state you live in.
And as soon as families get involved, with no will in place, that’s when things get complicated. It’s also a very smart practice to keep your family members, or beneficiaries, regularly updated on your plans to avoid confusion and bad feelings.