Most people avoid conflict at all costs. However, when someone dies without an estate plan or when an estate plan has not been communicated, avoiding conflict may be impossible. When conflict occurs and an estate is in litigation it can be a very drawn out and costly process. The average lawsuit can take years to resolve. Here are some tips to help avoid conflict when estate planning.
Make a plan. If your estate plan is not in place at the time of your death it creates uncertainty and conflict can arise. Having an estate plan in place helps avoid confusion and helps to prevent potential problems that could arise.
Don’t rely on everyone acting in peace and harmony. While it may be your belief that your children get along beautifully and that there would never be issues regarding your estate upon your death, this is usually inaccurate. People’s circumstances change and suddenly your children’s goals may no longer be aligned. Go ahead and make the tough decisions now and lay out your wishes clearly for them in an estate plan.
Remove Assets from Probate. One way to avoid estate litigation and contention is to implement an estate plan that avoids probate using revocable trusts and beneficiary designations. For assets such as retirement accounts, life insurance, etc., where beneficiary designations are an option, consider naming beneficiaries consistent with your overall plan. If you name beneficiaries, most companies allow the beneficiary to submit a death certificate and letter of authorization to direct disbursement of the funds.
Communicate Your Plan to Your Children. It is not a law that you must share your estate plan with your children and other beneficiaries. If you are comfortable discussing your estate plan with your children, it may be appropriate to share it with them. But keep in mind that your estate plan can be modified and if you choose to share a copy with anyone, be sure they always have the most recent version of your documents.
If you need expert advice about estate planning and strategies for avoiding conflict in your family after your death, contact Grissom Law, LLC at 678-781-9230.
Disclaimer This Blog/Web Site is made available for educational purposes only. In addition, it is available to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and Grissom Law, LLC.