Sometimes when we hear about another person's estate plan, we may tend to get upset, if we think we are slighted in some way. It is a good idea to think about the plan from the other person's point of view.
There is a very human tendency to get upset whenever we initially feel slighted by someone else. A recent advice column in philly.com, "Wife upset by in-laws' plans for their estate," illustrates why it is sometimes better to hold off on the anger and look at things from other people's points of view.
A woman wrote in to say that her husband had a teenage son from a previous marriage. The woman was cleaning out papers from their office and discovered a printed out email from her father-in-law to his attorney. The father-in-law was asking how to set up his estate, so it would be certain to go to the teenage son, and not the woman, after her husband passed away.
This upset the woman, since she felt that she was being viewed as not being trustworthy enough to make sure the teenage son received an inheritance after her.
The problem here is that if the woman had seen this from the father-in-law's point of view, she might not have been so upset.
He wanted to make sure that his assets were kept in the family and that his grandchild would eventually receive them. The woman could have possibly gotten remarried or had a falling out with the son after her husband passed away.
From the father-in-law's perspective, he merely wanted to make sure his grandchild was taken care of, which was not necessarily making a judgment on the woman's character. "At our firm, we may hold two family meetings, to help a family understand and accept the plan," says Michelle Profit, an estate planning attorney.
Reference: philly.com (April 23, 2017) "Wife upset by in-laws' plans for their estate."