J. Kelly Kennedy, Attorney/CPA, PLLC

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Prevent future fighting over family treasures with an estate plan

Some Florida residents may choose to procrastinate when it comes to estate planning. It is fairly obvious why -- estate planning forces people to confront some not-so-pleasant realities such as issues involving death. However, these mildly uncomfortable elements are far outweighed by the numerous benefits that estate planning provides. Estate planning serves to protect a person's interests and ensure that that person's post-life wishes are carried out.

One way in which estate planning serves to protect a person's interests is by protecting the interests of loved ones. Regardless of how valuable a person's assets may be, families and loved ones can be greatly aided by a well-drafted estate plan. In the absence of such a plan, families may be left quarreling and unsure of how to proceed in distributing a person's assets.

According to one article, rather than for money reasons, family members usually fight over assets because of the sentimental value they have. Some property does not hold much in the way of monetary value, but the memories associated with it may be invaluable to loved ones. The article recommends communication and advance planning to prevent these fights. By knowing what heirlooms have sentimental value to which family members and loved ones, it is possible to plan accordingly.

Estate administration can be challenging, it is not always apparent what is the best way to distribute assets, and it can involve many legal issues. With legal help, however, it is possible to navigate this sometimes difficult legal landscape and construct an estate plan that conforms to all of a person's wishes.

Source: Forbes, "Plan Now To Avoid The 'Who-Gets-What' War Over Your Family Treasures," Judy Martel, May 21, 2014

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