When you’re making your estate plan, you may be considering the fact that your heirs could wind up in a dispute. You know that this can be very problematic for some families, with people getting into such fierce disagreements that they have a long-term falling out.
Naturally, you want to keep this from happening to your family. But how can you do it? Below are a few tactics you may want to consider.
Making your plan in the first place
It should be noted that the top priority you have should be just making your estate plan. In cases when a parent doesn’t leave a plan behind, disputes are much more likely. This is because all the children have to agree on what to do with the assets, and it’s much less likely that they’re going to agree on everything than that they would simply follow the instructions in the will.
Giving out equal bequests
Another thing to think about is giving exactly the same amount of assets to all children. Unequal bequests are a major cause of estate disputes, generally just because the child who didn’t get as much money or other assets feels like it was unfair to them. If you make it clear that you’re attempting to make everything even and fair, that can head off some of these disputes.
Talking about sentimental items
Sentimental items often cause disputes because they can only go to one person. As a result, it’s usually best to talk with your heirs about this in advance. You can have them tag items that they want or you can discuss it with them so that you put the right items in the will. It’s also a good idea to have these conversations with all of your heirs at the same time, because then you can have a family conversation about who expects to get which assets without it turning into a full dispute.
As you work your way through the estate planning process, make sure you carefully consider all of your options.