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Managing the emotional side of estate planning

Many people realize that estate planning is more than just putting together a will and choosing beneficiaries, but few understand (or consider) the emotional issues that come about when assets are actually distributed after they pass away. Indeed, the person creating the will has no control over how people feel about what is being left, but an increasing number of people are crafting their estate plans so that future family discord can be avoided. 

According to a recent report, people are leaving smaller portions of their fortunes to their children, while opting to leave more to foundations and other charitable organizations.

The report highlights the efforts of billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, in that they are choosing to resume their legacies through charitable foundations.

They feel that it is important to avoid spawning a generation of trust fund children who feel entitled to something they contributed no effort in developing. Instead, they feel lead to teach their heirs how to be responsible with money.

Not only is this a noble way of continuing one's legacy, the average Floridian does not have to be a billionaire in order to follow this example. One could consider starting a scholarship fund, and appointing an heir to facilitate the process of choosing a student to be the recipient of the award.

Also, a foundation can be created to further the family's charitable interests. Whatever is chosen, this method of estate planning can help in avoiding family squabbles over money. If you have questions about how these methods work, an experienced estate planning attorney can help.


Source:, Smartest decision ever made by Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, June 3, 2013

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