Discussing estate planning unpleasant for many Nevada families

It is not surprising to hear that many people here in Nevada might be hesitant to discuss their end-of-life directives with family members. Thinking about death is not particularly pleasant, and discussing money is sometimes considered taboo by many folks. However, a recent study actually confirms what many have suspected all along — discussing estate planning with relatives is not occurring, to the potential detriment of everyone involved.

A financial company recently released its findings relating to the breadth of people’s estate plans and how they are handling them. It found that over 80 percent of those who took the survey have a will, but only half of the respondents have talked about the will’s provisions with their children. Even less — about a third — have disclosed specifics relating to the amount of their assets. The company claims there was no difference in whether the people who had estate plans were particularly affluent. Despite the reluctance to share information, an overwhelming majority of respondents wanted the dissemination of their estate to be as easy as possible, but some warn that this could be more difficult when one’s beneficiaries are not even aware of an estate holder’s wishes.

One financial professional speculated that clients avoid talking about their estates with their heirs because they may fear dying or are not comfortable discussing finances. They also worry about how the beneficiaries will manage their inheritance, thinking it may keep them from working hard in their own lives or that they will not know how to manage the money or assets. It is very possible that, with the recent prosperity of the baby boomer generation, some families will have to make decisions regarding a significant amount of assets.

Even more than just the financial aspects, estate planning is essential to ensure that a person’s final wishes are carried out. A thorough estate plan may also contain healthcare directives, power of attorney designations or a trust. It may be difficult for some Nevada families to discuss these issues, but the importance has never been greater.

Source: The New York Times, “What’s almost as certain as death? Not talking about the inheritance“, Paul Sullivan, Aug. 1, 2014

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