An excellent article by Kelly Greene appeared in the March 25, 2002 edition of the WALL STREET JOURNAL entitled "Pass It On." It posed several questions that should be discussed in connection with the estate planning process. The object of asking the questions is to try to avoid family discord.
The questions, from interviews with lawyers, financial planners and therapists, include the following:
1. Should I talk with my children about their inheritance?
2. If my parents don't bring up their plans about how they intend to dispose of their assets upon death, should I ask them about it?
3. Should I give each child an equal portion of my estate? What if I want to disinherit a child?
4. What if I am in a "blended" family?
5. Should I include my grandchildren in my estate plan?
6. Should I give my heirs lifetime gifts?
7. Who will manage my estate when I die?
8. Should I leave something other than money?
9. Should I leave everything to my family? What about charitable gifts?
We would be happy to discuss these and many other issues with you when we meet to discuss your estate planning needs and alternatives.