Everyone should have a plan in place to not only help provide financially for their loved ones, but to also minimize family disputes and preserve harmony. The last thing you want is for your children to fight over your inheritance, which can cause irreparable rifts in your family. When creating your estate plans, consider these important tips to help minimize disputes between family members:
- Make sure you are healthy and sound when creating your plan: Never wait until you have an illness or are near death to create your estate plan. This is because it can lead to questions about your mental capacity and whether you were of sound mind. Estate disputes are common in cases where the deceased created an estate plan towards the end of life or at the onset of an illness.
- Choose your executor and trustee wisely: The executor and trustee will be in charge of distributing your estate. If you choose someone who has a poor relationship with your beneficiaries, it may cause conflicts. Consider choosing an independent person to handle your estate.
- If you are distributing your assets unevenly, explain why: If one child ends up receiving a majority of assets, it is natural for your other children to feel disappointment. Explain your reasoning and be as upfront as possible. While this may not prevent disputes, it can provide greater clarity to each party.
- Update your plan regularly: You should update your estate plan after a major life event, including a new child, divorce, marriage, or death. If you are regularly involved in your financial and medical matters, there is also less of a chance that your family will think you were being influenced by an outside party.
- Provide specific instructions: Include very detailed instructions regarding funeral arrangements, personal property, medical choices, and other important issues. The more you clarify these things in your estate plan, the less ambiguity there is, and the easier it will be on your family.
- Choose a lawyer independently: You should choose an independent attorney who has experience in estate planning. While it is great to have recommendations from friends and relatives, it can also lead to concerns about undue influence, so think carefully when seeking legal advice.
Start Protecting Your Family Today
At Taylor & Lihn, PLLC, our Phoenix estate planning lawyers are dedicated to helping our clients find comprehensive and customized solutions for their estate. We get to know you, your family’s dynamics, and help you anticipate common disputes that plague families after the death of a loved one. Our goal is to help protect you, your estate, and minimize disputes between your loved ones.
To learn more about our estate planning services, call our office at (602) 900-9860 for a free consultation.