The best way to prevent your family from fighting over your estate, is to let them know what to expect from your estate plan. The conversation does not need to be exclusively about money.
Many different things can cause families to fight over a deceased relative’s estate. Sometimes, families are going to fight no matter what and there is nothing that can be done to avoid it.
This is one reason why you should enlist the expertise of an estate planning attorney. She can make your estate plan as solid as possible, so there are fewer legal grounds for your family to fight over.
Nevertheless, minimizing the potential for your family to fight over your estate takes more than just a good estate plan.
The biggest source of estate battles is when family members are surprised by what they inherit from an estate plan and receive less than what they think they deserve.
Therefore, you need to talk to your family about your estate plan, as Market Watch discusses in “How to talk to your family about your estate plan.”
Most people are uncomfortable talking to their family about death and money. However, talking about your estate plan does not need to focus on either of those things. Telling your family about your estate plan is a chance to talk to your family about values.
It is more important to tell your family why you have done something in your estate plan than to tell them exactly how much money they will receive. An explanation of the values behind your estate planning decisions should be the focus of the discussion.
If you want to do all you can to make sure your family does not fight over your estate, first see an estate planning attorney to get an estate plan and then let your family know why you made your plans the way you did.
Reference: Market Watch (Nov. 18, 2017) “How to talk to your family about your estate plan.”