Detailed Estate Planning Documents Help To Avoid Inter-family Conflict After Death
Let’s face it, anyone who’s ever been involved in any relationship – and no one can avoid that – knows that relationships are complicated. Familial relationships are often the most complicated. Conflicts can arise between spouses, siblings, generations, and in-laws.
Creating a well-thought-out estate plan with detailed estate planning documents helps avoid conflicts among family after death.
The reasons for inter-family conflicts are as varied as the different personalities that exist. And, after parents pass on, the conflicts can get really heated and nasty if there have been challenges prior to death. The importance of having detailed estate planning documents cannot be overestimated whether there are relationship conflicts in your family or not. You can make everything smoother for your loved ones and if there are conflicts you can help your loved ones avoid litigation by creating a very detailed estate plan.
I’ve outlined a few tips that can help you create an estate plan that will help avoid inter-family conflicts after your passing.
First of all, if there are conflicts that you are aware of that may be problematic after your passing, make your attorney aware of the problems. This will enable your attorney to draft your estate planning documents to manage or avoid the potential conflicts identified.
Know your assets and their importance to your loved ones. Your estate planning documents can be tailored to account for the distribution of assets to certain family members who may value said assets more than others. One way to avoid some problems post-mortem is to give tangible personal property away to family members while you are still alive. Also, if you recognize that certain assets may cause conflict after your passing, you can plan ahead and sell the asset prior to your death so it is no longer presents a problem.
Remember that communication is key. Keeping your estate plan a secret from family members is rarely a good idea and can cause family members to feel isolated, which is often a source of conflict. Your family is more likely to accept your estate planning decisions when they have been informed by you personally, and just by a document read by an attorney after your passing. You can personally explain to your loved ones why you have made your decisions, which may be absent from the estate planning document.
Establishing an estate plan can be done at any time, but the sooner the better. As we have all learned in the past year and a half, there are no guarantees.