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These are the estate planning issues to watch for

Concerns about the stock market and tax reform are among the estate planning issues Florida residents could be worried about. However, family infighting is the top issue that respondents to a TD Wealth survey cited when it comes to estate planning. This is likely because individuals failed to communicate their plan to others in their family or because they were part of a blended family.

The naming of beneficiaries was cited as the most common source of conflict in a family as it related to estate planning. Ideally, individuals will have conversations with their entire families in an effort to promote transparency and open lines of communication. This can be especially important when families go through difficult events. While market volatility may be concerning to some, it is important to note that a long-term plan will take short-term fluctuations into account.

Therefore, those who are planning on giving gifts to family members or others as part of their estate plan shouldn't be too concerned about it. However, since the federal estate tax exemption is higher than it has been in the past, it may be worth making gifts today. Creating trusts to hold assets may also help individuals take advantage of the current tax rules and minimize estate tax consequences.

The loss of a loved one can be a stressful time. However, creating a thorough estate plan with the assistance of an attorney may make it easier to help surviving family members get through the grieving process. An estate plan may allow beneficiaries to receive assets quickly and without the need for probate. It may also help children or grandchildren obtain an education or otherwise meet their financial needs for years to come.

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