Collaborative Estate Planning

Have you created a will or a trust? If not, you’re in at least popular company because over one-half of Americans have not yet created a will or a trust. Creating this estate plan is enormously important, because no matter the size, everyone has an estate.

Most of us have no plan for what happens to our assets, our pets, or even our children should we become incapacitated. Sometimes, health developments or other life transitions force us to pay attention to the risks inherent in failing to plan our estate. But for the large majority of us, there is no directive available to our beneficiaries.

If you are like most people, a deeper issue may be lurking in the recesses of your brain:

Even if I make a plan, will everyone I love really follow my directions and wishes?

That is an incredibly important question, and for most of us, the answer is no. While for most families, these skirmishes are settled out of court, they leave lasting scars. Your remarriage may have caused tension for your adult children and your spouse may be ostracized.

There is some good news: There is a path to including everyone in a conversation to ensure that your loved ones cooperate with each other and with your wishes.

You can create an estate compact that ensures that your gifts will not be challenged. Using the tenets of collaborative process, you can sit down with professionals to help you:

 1. A tax or financial planner can help explain tax consequences based on current or anticipated legal and economic developments;

 2. An attorney can draft legal documents to reflect your wishes;

 3. A mental health professional can coach your family through the emotions involved in putting old hurts to rest.

You can gather your entire family at the same place and time and explain your desired legacy.

Alternatively, you can incorporate an important and not commonly known tool, collaborative process, into any estate distribution disputes.

Call us today to learn more about collaborative process, and how it may change the way your legacy lives on.

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