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Family Is Important, But Not the Ultimate Deciding Factor

May 18, 2014

Estate planning can force you to make some tough decisions. Having to split beloved, sentimentally-important property between multiple family members can be extremely hard. It is fair to say that no one enjoys facing the prospect of their own death, even if the benefits of doing so VASTLY outweigh the costs.

One thing that is important to remember throughout the entire process is that every decision is your own. You absolutely should not feel obligated to do anything you don’t want to. In particular, it is important to remember that you don’t need to always put family first.

It may sound rather cold to say something like that, but the truth is that while family is extremely important, it is not the ultimate deciding factor, and if you have a lifelong friend who you spend dozens of hours with on a monthly basis, you should not feel guilty placing them above an estranged son who you hear from 10 minutes out of the year.

The entire point of estate planning is to be able to pass your possessions onto those you love, and protect your closest loved ones from legal hassles related to your death. Passing things on to the ones most important to you is by far more important than making sure everyone you know gets something.

It is undeniable that family (however you choose to define it) is the most important thing in life, but always remember that your estate plan is, in fact, yours. You do not have to do anything you don’t want to do, and you do not need to feel at all guilty about any decisions you have to make.

If you have any concerns about how you are dividing your possessions up, do not be afraid to consult with your estate planning attorney. They will be able to provide you with advice and experience on the matter.