Estate planning tends to focus on minimizing taxes, especially for high-net-worth individuals, but personal problems may be more pressing for some clients. For such people, the success of the planning process hinges more on dealing with their issues than with their legal, tax and technical matters.

Personal issues can involve a myriad of matters, including lifestyle choices, drug addiction, religious practices, health concerns, charitable goals and preferences regarding the disposition of collectibles or other personal property. Too often, planners assign these soft topics secondary importance and, as a result, even the best-designed plan can fall short of achieving everything a client hopes to address.

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