I was in Omaha yesterday with Dick Wittman and a local attorney doing a seminar for the Legacy Project on succession planning. One member of the audience mentioned that he felt like we had poured 100,000 bushels of corn into a 20,000 bushel grain bin. I know we covered a lot of material, but the key thing based upon questions and feedback from the audience was that the most important part of succession planning and transition is Communication.
Saving estate taxes can be important, however, if the way the estate plan is structured but not communicated to the children involved, the emotional damage and strife can far outweigh any tax savings. Therefore, if you are in process of transition to the next generation, make sure these ideas, plans, documents are all properly communicated. As the attorney said, you can pay me now or you can pay a lot more later from a lack of communication.
Don't let it happen to you.