Minimize Family Conflict
After a loved one passes, the process to distribute assets is emotional and complex, and family conflict can arise when beneficiaries disagree over how the estate should be distributed in probate.
It has been said the best way to get two people to argue is to put money between them. Unfortunately, all too often siblings begin arguing over assets after their parents pass. These fights can last many years, and even the rest of their lives.
Keep it Simple
Often, we have clients state that they “want to keep it simple.” Their thought may be “each of my kids gets an equal share, and they can take whatever they want from my things. I’ll just have my oldest child be the Personal Representative to keep it easy.”
However, there are many items such as vehicles, furniture, and antiques, that cannot be split. What do families do then when two children each want dad’s truck, or mom’s antiques?
My Kids Don’t Fight
Some of the most hurtful arguments we see come from families where siblings did not argue, until mom or dad passes. After parents pass, sometimes the peacekeeper has also passed, and old grudges resurface.
Also a common situation is when spouses (your son-in-law or daughter-in-law) insert themselves in the family estate, trying to get as many assets as possible. Their whispers about “unfairness” can put your child in a tough situation… having to fight with their spouse or fight with their sibling.
How to Stop the Conflict
Proper estate planning can minimize and possibly eliminate any amount of conflict.
Reviewing and updating your estate plan regularly can also help reduce arguments. As your life changes, your estate plan should as well. Regular reviews and updates will help ensure that your estate plan remains up-to-date with your current wishes and family situation, as well as any new or outdated asset distributions.