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How Relationship Problems Affect Estate Planning

The connection between estate planning and how people behave. The law is intended to regulate how people behave to maintain public order and well-being and prevent people from taking the law into their own hands. But people disrespect other people and their rights and property all the time. Some children steal from, neglect and physically abuse their elderly parents. Estate planning is about you being pro-active to protect your loved ones, your property and your Peace of Mind.

Estate planning is about managing risk. Unresolved relationship problems are a major risk that can sink your estate plan and lead to financial disaster. Focusing on your concern and ignoring other factors and laws that may apply creates risk. Managing risk effectively requires identifying and understanding all the risk factors in your case that may impact the effectiveness of your estate planning.

When you feel insecure about your relationship with your spouse, significant other, or children, do you really think about taking care of them and getting your legal affairs in order? For most, the answer is “No.”

Relationship tension creates stress and distracts you from focusing on the important things. This distraction can affect you in many ways, including your performance at work and your personal life. Lack of planning can cause mistakes and oversights that could wipe out everything you have and leave you in debt.

Risks to Consider. Unresolved relationship tension is a major cause of stress that leads to break-ups, which in turn leads to separation, divorce and serious legal problems. Family fighting creates a negative environment. Emotional distress can create serious health problems, cause you to lose your job, your partner, your family, and you could lose half, or more, of what you own!

Festering tension is unhealthy and makes matters worse. People need stability in their lives, to be able to focus, to plan, and for Peace of Mind. Making an effort to clear up any misunderstanding and resolve disputes is a wise investment in one’s Peace of Mind. Even if unsuccessful, at least you know you tried.

Work-Life Balance. When you fail to establish priorities and boundaries to protect your core values, you often don’t have a personal life. You get used and abused. Your relationship with your family suffers, as does your health. You don’t take care of yourself and don’t take steps to protect your loved ones and your assets against financial disaster. This causes your family to feel insecure and anxious, and to question your commitment to their well-being. Smart estate planning provides a process that promotes consideration of ways to achieve better work-life balance.

Ironically, physicians have the least work-life balance, often feel trapped in a toxic workplace and are overwhelmed. Physician burn-out is a major problem and a growing risk factor for personal healthcare and for effective estate planning. Physicians are so busy taking care of others that they neglect themselves and their families. Not having one’s legal affairs in order can be a significant stress factor for physicians and other professionals, who often are very concerned about whether they can sustain their current lifestyle.

Estate planning is a crucial process that yields many benefits beyond getting one’s legal affairs in order. Estate planning is building a foundation for financial security, a brighter future and a happy life.

Awareness. Although the hustle and bustle of a hectic life can make it difficult to see beyond the immediate demands, being “aware” of the bigger picture is important to protect yourself against the many things and people who might cause you harm.

The legal system is not particularly friendly to people who are vulnerable and need help. Some lawyers see family conflict, anger, depression and insecurity as an opportunity to earn a large fee. The courts are overwhelmed and not equipped to deal with non-legal aspects of a conflict. If you take charge of your life and take care of what’s important without delay, you won’t put yourself in the position where you have to deal with the fall-out.

Seeking Help Really Helps. Don’t expect others to read your mind. Ask for help. Set aside an hour or two to think about what you would like to achieve and to find out who you should turn to for help. You may be smart in your field, but you cannot become an expert in estate planning overnight. Smart people know when to seek professional help.

Estate Planning typically includes your important relationships. When you discuss estate planning needs and goals together you build trust and intimacy. You create positive energy which stimulates creative thinking. When you don’t, distrust, anxiety and resentment builds.

Understanding reduces risk. Estate planning involves far more than meets the eye. Most people who experience a thorough estate planning consultation with an experienced, caring estate planning lawyer, are surprised when they realize what needs to be considered, and appreciate the guidance they receive. This knowledge enables you to make smart decisions with confidence.

Conclusion. Relationship management is a cornerstone of the foundation upon which an effective, durable estate plan is built. Responsible people take care of their important relationships, are aware of risks of a relationship ending badly, and nip problems in the bud. Effective estate planning requires ongoing awareness, resilience when faced with adversity, and handling challenging situations with emotional intelligence.