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A person's emotions could sabotage estate administration

Few people here in Ontario or elsewhere want to voluntarily sit and contemplate their own deaths. Even so, this is exactly what they have to do in order to build an estate plan. If emotions get in the way of taking this step, it could sabotage and unnecessarily complicate the estate administration process for surviving family members who must ultimately deal with the estates.

Other than not wanting to think or talk about dying, another impediment is the family dynamic. Perhaps one child is going through a divorce while another is having another child. One child could have a drug or alcohol problem. One grandchild may need money for college, but another grandchild does not even want to attend. It is questions and situations like these that can make deciding how to divide up an estate more complicated than some people are willing to work through in order to create an estate plan.

Another obstacle to estate planning is the desire to retain control over the assets in the estate for as long as possible. Ontario residents may not realize that is not always necessary depending on how the plan is designed. Different documents could provide some measure of control while keeping the value of the estate down for tax purposes.

The emotional issues surrounding estate planning may not be pleasant, but they should not prevent it. Going through this process and creating a plan should make the estate administration process less challenging for those left behind to deal with it. Moreover, an estate plan provides an individual with control over the disposition of assets after death instead of leaving it to the courts, which could also create tension and confrontations among surviving loved ones.

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