Creating an estate plan is a gift to the loved ones you leave behind after your death. By creating a strong estate plan, you are able to provide assistance to guide your loved ones through the difficult and emotional time following your death. In many cases, failure to perform proper estate planning results in substantial disagreements between your loved ones. This article will review several of the steps that you can take to greatly reduce the risk of disagreements among loved ones following your death.
Appoint an Appropriate Executor
After a loved one’s death, some family members grow to feel that the family member who was appointed as executor is stealing from the estate. Other executors disappear from all contact with the family and refuse to deal with the appropriate paperwork to divide the estate. While many people decide to appoint the oldest surviving child as executor, consider the person’s skills at performing the job before giving that person such an important position.
Failing to Address Personal Property
The smallest piece of property has a tendency to lead to the largest family fights. Anything to which a family has strong emotional or sentimental connection has the potential to cause arguments. As a result, it is often wise for a person to ask surviving loved ones what items they would like after your death. You should then make sure to keep this list updated to reflect any changes and to keep this list with your other important estate planning document. In addition to these documents, some people also decide to include a clause that states an executor will sell an item if the heirs are unable to agree on which person should receive it.
Avoid Estate Provisions that Tie Up Money
While it is important to make sure that a surviving spouse receives adequate support, it is also important to avoid giving large amounts of money to individuals who are too young to handle it. To avoid these problems, many people decide to create trusts that award compensation over several years or decades rather than pay a lump sum.
Provide a Rationale for Unequal Interest
Some people have strong reasons to provide one beneficiary with a much larger amount from an estate than other individuals. Most often, one child might not have as many financial resources as other children. If you plan on making unequal distributions, however, you should make sure to explain your rationale to your children.
Speak with a Seasoned Estate Planning Attorney
If you want to avoid disagreements among your loved ones after your death, the best way to do this is to create estate planning documents that achieve each of your wishes. To do so, you should contact an experienced estate planning attorney like Jim A Lyon who understands how to create estate planning documents that achieve your wishes. Contact our law office today to schedule an initial free case evaluation.