Connecticut residents with substantial amounts of wealth are often concerned about how to navigate sensitive family relationships when making an estate plan. In many cases, the more complex details of estate planning reflect family concerns rather than difficulty dealing with the funds themselves. This was reflected in one survey conducted by Key Private Bank of its clients with at least $2 million in assets for investment.
People with larger estates often have access to financial planners and attorneys for other purposes. However, they may hesitate to turn to these professionals to make an estate plan. The planning process can raise difficult emotions and, at times, decisions can complicate or clarify more challenging relationships. However, 43 percent of the survey respondents said that having no estate plan at all was the most serious mistake that a family could make. In other cases, people believe that they are too young to have an estate plan. However, when adults have substantial assets that will need to be passed on after death, it may be best to be prepared in order to avoid unintended consequences.
It’s important to note that estate planning is not completed after the first set of documents are signed. Changes in tax law or life milestones should also prompt regular reviews of wills, trusts and other estate documents. In addition, assets like investment accounts or retirement funds pass outside of a will, so it is also important to make sure that beneficiary designations are correct and current.
In many cases, people begin the estate planning process after a life-changing event, such as a serious health scare or the birth of a child. An attorney can help a client to develop key legal documents that will reflect their vision for the future of their assets.