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Avoiding inheritance discussions with heirs can be costly

Florida residents may be interested in a recent online article discussing the importance of having open inheritance discussions between parents, children and other heirs. According to a recent survey, most people have wills that are up to date, but only about half of all families have had a meaningful inheritance discussion. There are many reasons why families avoid such discussions. In fact, many advisers believe that most families are far more likely to talk about issues surrounding sex than those surrounding money. Some parents may not see the issue as relevant and think it is okay to put it off until later. They may also not want their children counting on an inheritance. Children may not push the issue because they do not want to appear entitled or greedy.

Despite this reasoning, avoiding an inheritance discussion can be far more devastating for families and finances. When a clear plan is not in place, family disputes and bickering are much more likely to occur. A will made in secret can leave family members with silent expectations feeling cheated or bitter when they finally learn the truth. When inheritance wishes and plans are discussed openly, then all heirs can have an understanding of what is going to happen when a parent passes.

Having an estate planning discussion is also important to heirs in a number of other ways. They may not have a full understanding of their responsibilities, such as taxes, when it comes to an inheritance. If they fail to pay proper taxes or adhere to other requirements, they may face substantial penalties up to the loss of the asset.

Working out a plan is beneficial for everyone involved. It prepares heirs and families. It also provides opportunity to set up legal protections, such as trusts, that can be used to protect assets from a variety of other issues.

Source: NASDAQ.com, "Expensive Consequences of Not Having the Dreaded Inheritance Conversation", August 23, 2014

Source: NASDAQ.com, "Expensive Consequences of Not Having the Dreaded Inheritance Conversation", August 23, 2014

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