A few days ago, the meeting of Estates and Probate Section of the Connecticut Bar Association focused on the state of estate planning now that changes in the federal estate tax have eliminated tax planning as a motivation for estate planning for many people. The take-away message was clear: apart from tax implications, reasons abound to carefully consider and plan for disposition of your estate.
The panel of experienced practitioners raised issues about creditors, spendthrifts, children with mental health issues, future marriages and existing offspring of a future spouse, family business concerns, and all manner of unintended consequences that can result from inaction or quick and easy plans.
What struck me the most was how much more difficult these issues are to consider and to discuss with family members than the dollars and cents of tax savings. And, thus, how tempting it is do nothing or to do something without a challenging, but essential, conversation. A perfect recipe for conflict.