I grapple with how much information a client needs to read and consider when putting into place core estate planning. The complex tax and non-tax laws — and how these laws affect a family and estate planning — have made this entire area almost unbearable for busy clients. Most simply cannot easily take the time to deal with this right now.
I don’t want to overwhelm a client, but do strive constantly to have my clients end up with a good grasp of the fundamental design of their planning, and their key options.
This points to there being no simple, easy approach to good estate planning. Choices and options are a necessary evil. And, require time and thought.
Here is what hit me. For clients who never take the time to deal with their estate planning, the choices and options do not simply disappear. Instead, often the continuing need to address these items becomes centered under court-oversight, including potentially contentious litigation.
With the clients failing to deal with these choices and options, you now have opposing family members (fueled by in-laws) fighting to elbow in their own personal choice and options. The court becomes essentially the forum. A costly forum.
The potentially expensive court-option is why, as I stated in my last post, lawyers will still benefit financially at the expense of the client’s family in the absence of planning.
Do your family a favor, seriously. Don’t make your family help line lawyers’ pockets.