The three biggest threats to estate planning in 2019 are family conflict, market volatility and tax reform, according to a recent survey conducted by TD Wealth.
The survey included 105 respondents who attended the 53rd Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning in January, including attorneys, trust officers, accountants, charitable giving professionals, insurance advisors, elder law specialists, wealth management professionals, educators and nonprofit advisors.
Nearly half of these estate planning experts identified family conflict as the biggest threat to estate planning in 2019.
The survey explored the various causes of family conflict when engaging in estate planning, citing the designation of beneficiaries as the most common cause of conflict. Other leading factors included not communicating the plan with family members and working with blended families.
“Family dynamics have always played a critical role in estate planning. As we start to see more blended families, we expect these conversations to become even more prevalent and challenging,” said Ray Radigan, head of private trust at TD Wealth. “Estate planning comes with the responsibility of motivating families to communicate through difficult times, which requires regular dialogue and complete transparency. To minimize risk, we encourage families to invite everyone to the table to participate in open and honest conversation about their shared goals and objectives.”
Market volatility was also top of mind for respondents in 2019, with nearly a quarter of respondents identifying volatile markets as the biggest threat to estate planning this year. This was up from 12% in 2018.