Study Reveals Family Feuds Rise Due to Lack of Estate Planning
In a recent study conducted by LegalShield, it was found that a staggering 90% of Americans consider having a will crucial, yet less than half of them have actually created one. This lack of proper estate planning has led to significant consequences for many families, with 58% of respondents experiencing disputes among family members and their assets falling under court control.
Financial advisor Laurie Humphrey from Granite Financial, a part of Osaic, highlighted common reasons why people neglect estate planning, such as a lack of urgency and confusion about naming guardians for minor children. She emphasized the need for a holistic financial approach and suggested involving local attorneys or encouraging employers to include estate planning in employee benefit packages.
According to attorney Asher Rubinstein of Gallet Dreyer & Berkey, people's reluctance to face their mortality further compounds the issue. He advised clients to consider estate planning during major life events like marriage, divorce, or the birth/adoption of a child.
Neglecting estate planning can tear families apart, especially when there is no clear will in place. Surviving family members are left to deal with disagreements and, potentially, lengthy court battles to determine asset distribution. Thomas Kopelman, head of community at Wealth.com, stressed the importance of having these conversations in advance to prevent family disputes and reduce emotional strain.
From a legal perspective, contested wills lead to prolonged court interventions, requiring significant time and expense. Rubinstein recommended the use of carefully drafted trust documents to avoid probate court and minimize opportunities for inheritance disputes. Proper estate planning, therefore, emerges not just as a financial necessity but also as a means to preserve family harmony and assets in the long run.
Don't wait for a family feud to erupt or your assets to fall under court control. Act now and provide your family with the peace of mind they deserve.
Schedule your FREE strategic planning session with Monteforte Law and safeguard your family's future. Call us at 978-464-8560 to book now!