When a loved one passes away, it is a sad and difficult time. What can make it even worse is when surviving family members begin to fight over the estate. This often happens because parents and children have turned a blind eye to planning. Unfortunately, parents themselves are destroying their own families without even knowing it, by not planning now. We need to pay attention to this issue, because there is the potential to avoid a family feud.
In these hard economic times, many people in France are relying on some type of inheritance to stave off financial ruin. Past generations were generally very frugal and saved their money wisely; thus, many baby boomers are depending on their parents’ estates to ensure their own financial futures. Because many children feel entitled to their parents’ estate, they fight when their parents don’t handle their estate as the children believe they should.
Parents make some very common mistakes when it comes to financial planning:
- Failure to Plan for Events Leading to Incapacity (when a will has no jurisdiction)
- Failure to Include Provisions for Your Possessions in the Estate Plan
- Failure to Inform Your Children Whom You Have Named as Power of Attorney and/or Executor, And Why
- Failure to Appropriately Thank the Care-Giving Child
- Failure to Disclose Information about Your Will to Your Children
- Failure to Re-Examine Your Will after Getting Remarried
There are solutions to these problems, however. Parents can appoint someone as durable power of attorney for property to make decisions should they become incapacitated. In France, you can hire a good avocat succession Paris who will write a living will and appoint someone with the durable power of attorney for health care. They can sit down and have a candid conversation with their children, explaining their choice of executor, along with many of the other issues that accompany estate planning. Communication is essential because death is inevitable. It is important to talk to everyone involved to understand exactly how each person feels about what is going on; otherwise, it is all left to assumption, which is dangerous ground. You can never assume certain things such as: goodwill among your children; that because you love your kids, they’ll love each other; that your child’s marriage will be permanent (in terms of appointing in-laws as executors); that a “homemade will” will be effective (online services vary in effectiveness and legality); and that your lawyer is capable of finding all of your assets. The best way to deal with estate planning is to take charge and to be proactive.