Family dynamics can complicate the process of estate planning in North Carolina and around the country. According to a survey from Key Private Bank, 77 percent of respondents said that this was the toughest issue for their clients to overcome. Those who took part in the survey had clients with at least $2 million in assets. While emotions can be hard to account for in an estate plan, 43 percent of respondents said that it was worse to not have a plan at all.
According to the advisers in the survey, people generally don't think about their estate plan or understand that anyone can benefit from it. Respondents said that even clients who are in their 30's should think about estate planning. Furthermore, many don't understand that they could need more than just a will to properly distribute their assets.
Talking to family members may be difficult because individuals may fear creating a conflict by doing so. Others may believe that it is too difficult to talk in an open and honest way with members of their families. In some cases, individuals who are in blended families or who are in a second or third marriage may face unique emotional or other challenges. Therefore, having a conversation about estate planning can be especially difficult for them.
While a will can be an effective estate planning tool, a person with significant assets may also benefit from the use of a trust. A trust may allow an individual to protect assets from creditors both now and in the future. This may ensure that beneficiaries receive their inheritance or that assets are available to help a charitable cause.