During estate planning, you have several considerations to make, including finding ways to avoid conflict among your heirs. Conflicts do not always occur, but disagreements about your estate can lead to strife among family members. You can help ward off any problems by taking certain steps during estate planning.
Talk to Your Family Members
One way to lessen the chances that family members might find fault with your estate planning decisions is to talk to your family members about your wishes. For instance, if you plan to leave your home to a sibling, explain to the remaining siblings why you made this decision.
When discussing your decisions with your family, remember that ultimately, you have the right to distribute your assets as you wish. Talking to your family is designed to only lessen hurt feelings and not to be swayed in your decision making.
Choose the Right Executor
Do not let emotion determine who should be the executor of your estate. The executor is in charge of many important tasks, including handling probate and settling credit accounts. When selecting your executor, you need to choose someone who is responsible and capable of handling your estate's affairs.
Some people choose to list more than one person, such as all of their children, as the co-executors of their estate as a way of avoiding conflict. In actuality, you could be creating a bigger problem. All of the executors must unanimously agree about decisions made and this could not only lead to major arguments, but even court. One executor could ask the court to remove the other.
Once you do choose your executor, inform your family of your decision and why. If you want to name more than one person, list them as alternates instead.
Be Clear on Asset Distribution
A source of conflict could occur when it comes to the division of items that are of sentimental value. If you are planning to split sentimental items among your children, such as photo albums or family china, you need to be very clear on who gets what. For instance, you can state that the china be split 50-50 between two children.
You can also take the time to name items one by one and list who gets what. Doing this lessens the chances of a major fight over sentimental items.
Consult an estate planning attorney such as Stuart W. Moskowitz, Esq., CPA to determine what other steps you can take to keep peace among your family after you have passed away.Share