When planning for your estate, you can get bogged down in tax issues and forget about other concerns. However, it is important to remember that there are principles at stake, other than taxes.
Estate planning is not a valueless endeavor. When people start deciding how they would like their estates divided, their decisions are ultimately an expression of their values. However, sometimes during the process, people get so focused on the tax implications of estate planning that they forget about their other values.
Recently, Nightly Business Report discussed this and some important non-tax considerations in "What you don't know about estate planning will cost you," including:
- Giving to charity is about more than just trying to get a possible deduction. Financially supporting good causes that you believe in, is important in and of itself. When you do it and explain why, you also help instill the same values in younger family members.
- When you decide how to divide up your estate between your children and other family members, remember that avoiding conflicts within the family is important. You should be cautious about ways in which your plans could create those conflicts. It does not mean that everyone must receive the same amount. Sometimes it is equitable to give people unequal inheritances. However, the reasons for doing so, should be explained.
- If you value the hard work that it took to acquire your assets, you should make sure your heirs do as well. This will make it less likely that they will waste their inheritances. If that could be a problem for some of your heirs, then your estate plan can work around it with various trust arrangements.
Contact a qualified estate planning attorney to help.
Reference: Nightly Business Report (April 25, 2018) "What you don't know about estate planning will cost you."