Most people have heard stories of fights erupting among heirs after a loved one dies. As you prepare your estate plan, you may hope that your family will have a different story, but if you want to ensure that your family does not fight, it helps to know why families turn on each other in the first place.
With forethought, you can avoid your family battling over your estate in court.
Divorces tend to complicate estate plans
If you have previous marriages, you want to think about those marriages and your current marriage when you prepare your estate plan. Blended families can complicate the estate planning process, particularly when it comes to inheritance for children from different marriages. Additionally, you have to update all of your beneficiaries following your divorce. Otherwise, your former spouse may be on your retirement accounts or life insurance policies.
Siblings tend to fight the most
Statistically, individuals in the same generation tend to fight the most. When you prepare your estate plan, keep your children at the forefront of your mind. If your children have strained relationships with one another, they are more likely to try to fight one another for the other’s inheritance. To avoid fighting, try to be as fair as possible with your children. Talk to your children about the estate plan so that they understand why one child may receive a different inheritance than the other to avoid jealousy.
Communication may be able to alleviate some concerns that your family has over your estate plan. When you make your wishes known while living, they may have fewer reasons to fight later.