As a parent, the last thing you want your estate plan to do is to create conflict for your children. You want them to be able to come together at an emotional time and support each other. You want them to have lasting relationships that stand the test of time. You want your legacy to be one of unity, not division.
Talking to your heirs now can help you avoid problems later.
Common issues with estate plans
There are many potential issues that your heirs may disagree on. First and foremost, if you leave them a limited estate plan or no plan at all, they may just argue over what to do with your assets. This can create conflicts when heirs feel like what they wanted or deserved was taken from them.
Even with a plan, though, you can run into problems. For instance, maybe it’s difficult to divide physical, tangible assets. Is one solution to sell those assets in advance? You can then leave the heirs the money, which is far easier to divide evenly.
Another potential problem is if you decided to disinherit someone or leave them less than their siblings. They may feel it’s not fair. They may think that the other heirs conspired to create a fraudulent will. They may argue that you didn’t have the mental capacity to make such a will.
Early planning and open conversations can stop divisions in your family
To avoid these types of conflict and many more, it’s often best to talk to your heirs as you do your estate planning. Tell them what you’re thinking. Tell them why. Let them ask questions. Doing so can reduce conflict between your heirs at a later date by allowing them to resolve any issues with you — or each other — right now.
Crafting an effective estate plan takes work. Speak with an experienced attorney for help understanding your options.