How To Prevent Family Estate Disputes

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Estate Planning Lawyer

After someone dies, it is not uncommon for surviving family members to fight over the assets in the estate. Some family members might feel like they are not getting their fair share and take it out on others. That is the last thing you want to happen. As such, you want to take steps to minimize conflict as soon as possible.

Here are some tips to prevent your family members from fighting over your estate.

Have a Conversation with Your Loved One

You do not want anything in your estate plan to be a surprise for your family members. That is why you should plan to have a conversation with them in the near future about your final wishes. Explain how you are dividing up your property. If you plan on giving one person a larger inheritance, explain why. For example, you may decide to give one child a larger inheritance because he or she is not as financially stable as the rest of your children.

Write a Letter

If the idea of talking to your family members about your estate plan makes you uneasy, do not feel bad. Discussing a sensitive topic like that can be very difficult. You might worry that arguments will break out. Instead, try writing a letter to each of your family members, explaining your final wishes. If you are afraid that your family members may misunderstand your letter, you can have a lawyer review it beforehand. While the letter is not legally binding, it can let your family members know about your intentions.

Choose the Right Executor

An executor will make sure that the final wishes in your estate plan are carried out. This individual is responsible for paying outstanding debts, securing your property and distributing assets to the proper heirs. Because it is such a big responsibility, it’s important to choose the right person for the job. Your executor should be impartial and make sure that your final wishes are carried out. He or she should communicate regularly with your heirs.

Review Your Estate Planning Documents

Most people have to make updates to their estate plans in their life. When you experience a major life change, like a divorce or birth of a child, you should take another look at your estate plan. You want to make your wishes clear to avoid potential disagreements in the future.

Hire an Estate Planning Lawyer

An estate plan can have many complexities, so you do not want to create one on your own. It is essential to have an experienced estate planning lawyer on your side. A lawyer can help you establish a valid estate plan that clearly states your wishes. This can reduce the likelihood of family conflicts in the future.

If you need help with your estate plan, you should schedule a consultation with an estate planning lawyer — as our friends from Davis & Johnson Law Office, urge you to do as soon as possible.