A death in the family is difficult enough, but when inheritance arguments erupt, it can result in the disintegration of the entire family. Fortunately, most estate planning attorneys are well-armed with various strategies to plan an estate in a way that limits the chances of family infighting.
If you’re concerned about how well your family will get along after you die, the following recommendations are for you:
Consider your executor carefully
The executor you choose should have a good business mindset so that he or she can navigate the complexity of your estate. However, a good sense for business is not the only quality your executor needs to have. Your executor should also be patient, diplomatic and able to explain him- or herself. This will be essential to soothing any potential eruptions of misunderstanding and anger among your various beneficiaries.
You may even want to discuss with your family who would like to be the executor and who family members feel would make the best executor. If there’s one trusted and responsible member of the family whom everyone seems to like and want to carry out this role, you might consider that person to be your best choice.
Divide your estate fairly
When deciding how to divvy up your estate among heirs, think how you can make the distribution as fair as possible. If there’s a much-coveted piece of art or some other item with a lot of sentimental value for your heirs, you might want to talk with them beforehand to determine who is going to receive it.
Then, treat the others who didn’t receive it with something to balance things out. Also, even if you think it’s better to give more to one child over the other, you might want to rethink that option if the child who receives less could feel left out. Ultimately, the definition of “fair” will be different for every family.
By learning more about common estate planning strategies, you and your family can explore different solutions to meet your family’s needs. By making the preservation of peace in your family a primary goal, you’re much more likely to succeed with your wishes for the future.