One thing that no one wants after they’re gone is to have their beneficiaries — typically children and/or grandchildren — squabbling over who got what from the estate.
Below are some red flags that your heirs might wind up haggling with one another.
If your adult children spent their formative years in a constant contest of one-upmanship and nursed grudges, it’s unrealistic to believe that all of that will fade once you have passed.
The best way to avoid this acrimony is to appoint as trustee a professional fiduciary who has no personal interest in your estate.
You might think that by doing this, you allow each to voice their opinions on estate matters. However, what often occurs is that multiple trustees fail to reach accord on vital matters. Circumvent the problem by naming a sole trustee.
Economic disparity among beneficiaries
This is often unavoidable. However, it can present big problems when heirs’ competing interests destabilize the liquidation or preservation of the estate. You may prevent the worst of it by leaving detailed instructions of how the property should be disbursed.
A beneficiary is disabled or otherwise incapacitated
If you have one or more dependent heirs, or if some of your intended beneficiaries struggle with substance abuse or mental health issues, they can complicate the settling of your estate in myriad ways. Funding special needs and/or spendthrift trusts can sidestep these issues handily.
The above are by no means the only roadblocks to a streamlined estate plan. To dodge these and other avoidable problems, have a frank discussion with your Greenwich estate-planning attorney.