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Difference In Your Life

A few thoughts re parents, multiple children and estate planning

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2018 | estate planning & probate, Firm News

Would-be Arkansas estate planners – we’re primarily talking moms and dads in today’s blog post – obviously have a lot of family-centric concerns to ponder regarding children’s needs and wishes.

Put another way: If you’re a planner with multiple kids, you undoubtedly want to make sure that they’re both figuratively and literally on the same page when the time comes to open up and execute key estate documents.

For many families, those documents centrally include one or more trusts. As a recent article on reducing acrimony among heirs in the estate administration process notes, many parents simply opt to create a single children’s trust where a large family brood is involved. They find it comparatively simple and don’t envision any problems down the road with it. In fact, many planners appoint one of their children, or another relative or close friend, to be the trustee overseeing the terms of that key document.

The aforementioned New York Times article notes that such an approach can be a mistake, leading to family conflict in instances when one or more siblings perceives unequal treatment.

The Times piece stresses that planning parents sometimes spend too much time and effort focused upon trust creation “and too little time on the kinds of conversations that will help ensure trust among siblings” concerning estate administration.

We make a similar point concerning lack of communication on our website at the experienced Little Rock estate planning law firm of Robertson, Oswalt, Nony & Associates. We note that, “Discussing an estate plan is something that too many families put off until it is too late.”

Such a result is far from inevitable or fraught with downsides resulting from siblings’ friction over perceived mistreatment. Problem-free and happy-for-all estate outcomes can never be absolutely guaranteed in any case, but they can be materially promoted through proactive and timely planning.

A proven estate administration legal team can help with that. Our attorneys welcome contacts regarding our representation of valued clients seeking best-case outcomes in their critically important estate planning matters.


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