Successful estate plans pay close attention to several issues

On Behalf of | May 1, 2019 | trusts

Families that hold substantial assets in North Carolina typically seek financial and legal advice when planning their wealth transfers. Every person who writes a will, sets up a trust or plans a business succession must grapple with unique issues, but some matters apply broadly to most estate planning situations. These include family dynamics and the selection of executors or trustees.

Relationships among heirs might become frayed or hostile because of estate planning decisions. Disputes could arise for many reasons, such as jealousy over other siblings receiving a larger share or a trustee’s inability to manage funds properly. Financial advisers recommend that benefactors discuss their plans with heirs whenever feasible. This will reduce the chances of them becoming angered by estate surprises.

Choosing an institutional service as an executor or trustee could limit internal family disputes. Heirs would have an impartial authority to deal with instead of a family member who might be prone to self-dealing. Whether an estate owner goes with an individual or institution for these important positions, it is essential to select someone who possesses the financial skills to manage asset distributions.

In addition to family dynamics, estate planners should navigate decisions about taxes and heirs’ access to funds. An attorney could help a client find ways to implement their final wishes. More complex issues, like international assets or blended families from multiple marriages, might benefit from a legal evaluation. Legal counsel could alert a client to potential problems and strive to write an estate plan that produces a smooth transition of asset ownership.