Avoiding Family Disputes

Avoid family disputesThe more children or other beneficiaries you have, the bigger the potential for conflict when it comes to settling an estate, according to The New York Times in "Here's How to Maintain Peace Among Your Heirs."

The most important thing to keep in mind is that your children might have very different ideas than you do regarding how your estate should be divided and distributed. Even giving every child an equal portion of an estate, can be viewed as unfair in some circumstances.

To help avoid conflicts, you should not wall your children off completely from your estate planning. You should instead talk to them about why you are making the decisions that you are. If your children know why you are doing something, they are more likely to accept it and not fight over it between themselves.

The person you appoint to be in charge of your estate or trust,  must be seen as impartial and not conflicted. For example, if you name one child to be a trustee, your other children might eventually believe that one child is making decisions out of nothing more than self-interest. If a trust is expected to survive for a long time, it is a good idea to consider a professional trustee.

An estate planning attorney can advise you in creating an estate plan that fits your unique circumstances and has a chance at a peaceful settlement.

Reference: New York Times (March 22, 2018) "Here's How to Maintain Peace Among Your Heirs."

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