We know at Gottschlich & Portune in Dayton that even well-intentioned estate planning can go awry for individuals and families in Ohio and nationally.
Things get in the way. Time goes unexpectedly fast. Family communication breaks down.
That latter reality is underscored in a recent national media piece spotlighting delayed planning-linked conversations between adult children and their parents. That article notes that, for varied and multiple reasons, “these talks often don’t happen at all.”
Adult kids are often – and understandably – reticent to broach topics they think might upset mom and dad. As regards estate planning for an aging couple, those might include subject matter such as preparations for failing health, the naming of persons entrusted to legally act in the event of incapacity, will/trust creation and beneficiary designations.
And parents are often just as hesitant to wade into such territory, thinking that doing so might upset family balance and impinge on long-established notions of independence, autonomy and authority.
A recent survey conducted by a national bank yielded this conclusion: About 33% of parents over 60 have never even engaged in exchanges with their children involving estate administration-tied matters of real substance. And another research effort reveals that a so-called “life-altering incident” had to occur with one or both parents before 90% of adult kids waded into that territory to any degree.
Although it’s never too late, of course, earlier is better, given that intense urgency coupled with compressed time can often lead to mistakes and unintended consequences.
Experienced estate administration attorneys are well accustomed to dealing with families having concerns and even outright fears regarding planning in key areas like health care, finances, heir-linked outcomes and additional matters.
Questions or concerns regarding such things or estate planning in general can be candidly and confidentially discussed with proven legal counsel. Many individuals and families often discover that it is only the first step that is difficult to take regarding planning considerations.