Key Tips to Help Prevent Fights Over Your Estate
When children fight over their parents’ estates, it can result in emotional distress and drawn-out legal battles that can quickly get expensive and time consuming. To help avoid this situation, here are some steps you can take when engaged in the estate planning process:
- Choose the right person to be your personal representative: The individual you task with being your personal representative should be honest, responsive, communicative, organized and, perhaps just as important as all these combined, able to get along with your beneficiaries.
- Tell people what’s in your estate plan before you die: One of the most common reasons fights occur over estate plans is because the beneficiaries were surprised about the contents of the will. If you are upfront with your loved ones about your intentions, it will lessen the sting and allow you to avoid bad feelings arising after your death.
- Keep all your documents up to date: You should update your wills, trusts and other estate planning documents every couple years. Otherwise, there could be fights over whether the will you wrote 10 years ago truly reflected your wishes at the time of your death.
- Only consult with your attorney by yourself: Deal with your attorney as independently as possible. Do not work with someone a loved one recommended, and make sure you and your spouse are the only ones in the room with legal counsel during your meetings. This will prevent people from thinking you have been subject to undue influence.
For further tips and guidance when setting up your will, trust and other planning documents, meet with a knowledgeable Tampa estate planning lawyer at BaumannKangas Estate Law.