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A scenario where business and estate planning clearly intersect

A financial writer notes in a recent article the business dimensions closely attached to any request made by an adult child for money from parents to fuel a commercial venture.

That’s just obvious, right? If funds are being solicited to help fuel an entrepreneurial scheme, a great deal needs to be known in advance of start up concerning things like projected entity formation, expected profit sources and other matters.

There can be an important parallel dimension linked with such a request too, though, and it centrally targets the realm of estate planning.

After all, notes the above-cited columnist Liz Weston, loving parents swayed emotionally by business-tied money appeals from children can end up squandering wealth in a doomed dream, “sometimes endangering their retirements and family relationships in the process.”

Weston concedes the almost typical response of many petitioned moms and dads to be mum concerning a child’s money pleas when it comes to family communication. A common real-life outcome relevant to that scenario is that other children are caught by surprise during a final estate accounting, learning that one sibling among them was treated in a special way. Understandably, that can turn things south in a hurry.

“Resist the urge to keep [any such] arrangement a secret,” stresses one financial professional offering comment in Weston’s piece. A far better tack is to timely visit any potentially differentiated treatment with all family members in a totally candid way. Although there might be resulting angst and some resentment, it is unquestionably preferable that before-the-fact transparency rather than belated discovery guide the process.

A proven estate administration professional knows that to be true from intimate and oft-repeated experience. Moreover, a seasoned planning attorney routinely works with clients to craft equitable outcomes concerning every family member even in instances when bequests and inheritances are not identical.

The bottom line, notes the above financial planner, is that “transparency and communication is key.”

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