Tips to Help You Avoid Family Fights Over Your Estate
Unfortunately, it’s somewhat common for families to experience conflict over a loved one’s estate — especially the contents of a last will and testament. Even if you assume your family members will get along with each other after you pass away, you can still take extra steps to ensure there will be no conflict after your passing.
The following are a few tips to give you greater peace of mind:
- Choose the right estate administrator: The person you select to be your estate administrator should be organized, hardworking, honest and good at communicating. If possible, he or she should be on good terms with all your beneficiaries. If conflicts arise, it will be your administrator’s responsibility to diffuse them.
- Share your plans in advance: In many cases, hard feelings over wills and trusts occur because loved ones were blindsided by the contents. You can avoid these unpleasant surprises by having frank conversations with your family members and friends about your plans for your assets and your estate while you are still alive. Try to gather together your whole family and have a discussion.
- Only speak to your attorney by yourself: If you work with an attorney to arrange your estate plan, do so independently. It’s okay if you have relatives or friends who drive you to and from your appointments, but all conversations that happen in the attorney’s office should be private. Otherwise, others could suspect you’re being unduly influenced.
- Make regular updates: Some family fights occur because estate planning documents that existed were clearly outdated, meaning it was up to the family to determine what the deceased’s wishes truly were. You can avoid this problem by making regular updates to your will and other documents whenever your life’s circumstances change.
To learn more about how you can better prepare your family for what’s to come regarding your estate plan, contact a skilled Tampa wills and trusts lawyer with BaumannKangas Estate Law.