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Stop Family Fights Over Your Estate Before They Begin

Posted by Dana Law Group on May 24, 2021

Nobody necessarily enjoys making their end-of-life plans. However, if you want to make sure that your final wishes are carried out and that your loved ones are left with the inheritance you want them to receive, it is important to have an estate plan and/or a will in place. As you create your estate plan, however, there are some specific tips to keep in mind to avoid disputes among family members later on.

Appoint a Professional Fiduciary or Executor

As tempting as it might be to appoint a child or other relative as executor of your will, doing so can create problems among families. In some cases, choosing one family member to execute a will can lead to hard feelings for other family members. To avoid this, you can appoint a professional fiduciary as executor of your will and estate plan. This is a third party who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes appropriately.

Provide an Explanation When Distributions Are Unequal

It is rare to have a situation where a person’s possessions are equally distributed across every beneficiary. However, in situations where distributions will be extremely uneven (especially among siblings or other close relatives), it may be a good idea to provide an explanation for your decision in your estate plan or will. This can help to avoid any “hurt feelings” while explaining the reasoning behind your decision-making. While you are under no obligation to explain your choices, doing so can help to prevent disagreements and arguments among your loved ones.

Be as Specific as Possible About Property Distribution

As tedious as it may seem to outline exactly who should receive every one of our personal possessions, it is worth it to decide upon this in detail when you write your will and/or estate plan. Unfortunately, even smaller items (like a beloved holiday decoration or piece of jewelry) can lead to arguments, hard feelings, and other drama between family members if there is a dispute over who should be the beneficiary. By taking the time to outline who will receive each item in detail, there will be no ambiguity and thus no “fighting” over individual items.

Work With an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer

Perhaps the best thing you can do to avoid family fights over your estate is to work with a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer now. He or she will be able to walk you through the process of creating a detailed estate plan and/or will that will leave no ambiguity or confusion over your final wishes. This, in turn, will make conflict less likely.

Looking for an experienced will, trust, and probate lawyer who serves Phoenix and the surrounding areas? Dana Law Group is here to help! Contact us today at (480) 924-4557 to find out more about what we can do for you.