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There are many things to think about when estate planning.  However, among the most crucial is to take potential family conflicts into consideration.

A group of professionals including estate planning attorneys, trust officers, accountants, charitable giving professionals, insurance advisors, elder law attorneys and nonprofit advisors recently attended a conference on estate planning and a survey by TD Wealth revealed that the major professional concern that kept them awake at night was family conflict, according to, in “Family Conflict Tops the List of Estate Planning Challenges in 2018“.

The article says that 44% of all planning professions consider family conflict more of a threat to estate planning than tax reform (25%) and market volatility (12%). That’s no small number and one that should be considered while creating or revising an estate plan.

One reason for these results is that the response to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has received mixed reactions from estate planning attorneys and financial professionals. Some believe it may help their clients, while about a third of those queried in the TD Wealth survey aren’t sure. Only 16% feel the tax reform will have a negative impact on their clients.

Almost 75% of those taking part in the survey felt that clients who do benefit, will do so because of wealth transfer tax. About a third expect that clients will see the biggest benefits from new estate tax laws, followed closely by generation-skipping tax and gift tax updates.

What is the biggest challenge that people face when addressing their estate plan, according to this survey? It is naming guardians for minor children and beneficiary designations.

An estate planning attorney can advise you in creating an estate plan that fits your unique circumstances and may include dealing with potential family conflicts.

Reference: (March 28, 2018) “Family Conflict Tops the List of Estate Planning Challenges in 2018

Mr. Amoruso concentrates his practice on Elder Law, Comprehensive Estate Planning, Asset Preservation, Estate Administration and Guardianship.