Believe it or not, family disagreements are the biggest threat to your potential inheritance. Obviously, taxes are a huge component of creating an estate plan and a future inheritance. If you execute a complete estate plan, you can follow the laws to avoid paying the maximum amount, protect your estate, and avoid tying up your assets in court.
Just turn on any news channel or google the headlines about a wealthy person and their family fighting over inheritance money. There are even some deadly results involved that fuel the content of many popular TV murder mysteries such as 20/20, Dateline, 48 Hours, Cold Case Files, Unsolved Mysteries, American Justice, NCIS, etc.
If someone dies with a without a Will or complete estate planning, it is termed Intestate? Without these documents and vital knowledge, what to do with your assets can be very confusing, and the “laws of intestate succession” come into play. It is best if you work with an estate attorney to get clear about your goals and wishes and not leave it up to a court system. This will eliminate some of the family in-fighting.
Talk with any lawyers, accountants, and administrators that you may know, and they will verify that the conflict and dispute among family members is one of the biggest threats to the sharing of an inheritance.
44% of attorneys, trust officers, and accountants reported that family conflicts are the biggest threat to estate planning according to a poll by TD Wealth.
$11.58 million per person is a lot of money to potentially lose out on, so no wonder there would be some family conflict. The IRS estate and gift tax limit for 2020 per individual is $11.58 million. It was $11.4 million in 2019. The State of Florida does not have a death tax. Qualifying Florida estates are responsible for the federal estate tax for any assets over $11.18 million.
With the number of blended families in the US growing each year, it creates more need to clarify your estate. The modern family may possess multiple ex-spouses, kids, and grandkids from previous marriages, a significant age difference with spouses, etc. This can cause considerable problems, hurt feelings, and complications.
Where you die can affect your estate as well. Depending on what state you actually die intestate, you may have to leave everything up to the state in which you reside. So, this reinforces the need for a complete estate plan to be put into place.
The leading causes that create issues and tension regarding inheritance among families are:
- Unrealistic expectations
- Lack of communication and clarity
- Family drama
Tips to Avoid the Family Drama
One of the top reasons people draft an estate plan is to ensure that the assets are divided among the family according to your wishes. Another reason is to avoid court and leaving the distribution of your assets up to the state by dying intestate or without a will.
Make sure that you communicate your wishes to your loved ones and share your estate plan arrangements in advance. That way, there are no surprises to anyone. Let them know your goals of the estate. Many children think that a trust is a form of punishment when, in fact, you are actually protecting them.
Keep in mind; there are two possible events that can indicate that a review of an estate is necessary. These two events are new tax legislation and a change in your family situation, such as a birth, death, marriage, or divorce. If any of these happen, make sure you meet with a qualified estate attorney to revise your estate.
Educate your beneficiaries on the how and why of the intentions of your estate plan to reduce complications. Today, millennials are actively involved with the family and want to be in the know.
Keep the peace in your family by getting your estate in order and communicating with your loved ones.
Do you need an experienced estate planning attorney in Clearwater? Give Arvanitakis Law Group a call today at 727-600-5858, so we can schedule a consultation regarding your estate plan.