Every family experiences its share of disagreements. However, in some families, arguing is the status quo. While there are various methods of resolving conflicts when you’re around, things can get particularly contentious when you’re no longer there, and your loved ones are squabbling over your estate. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take when creating your estate plan, which can help reduce the chance of family in-fighting.
Be clear and straightforward
So many will contests are centered around ambiguous language. It’s important to be comprehensive. Make it clear what you wish to have happen in no uncertain terms. You will want to ensure that you can trust the person you name to administer your estate. It’s also a good idea to occasionally review your estate plan, especially as your familial relationships shift.
If you have a confidant, it might be worth your while to explain the reasons behind your decision-making. This person can help explain why you chose to set up your estate plan the way you did and could potentially nip any disagreements in the bud.
A no-contest clause may be an option
No-contest clauses can prohibit people from challenging your estate without a valid reason. It’s especially important to consider adding this type of language if you believe a beneficiary is likely to be unhappy with their share. No-contest laws vary from state to state. A couple of states, including Florida, prohibit the use of no-contest clauses altogether.
Consider an outside perspective
Getting advice concerning your estate from a disinterested party can be beneficial. You may uncover some things you had overlooked. Remember that you are not limited to naming family members in your estate plan. If you trust someone other than a relative to make healthcare or financial decisions on your behalf, you can name that person to be your health care or financial power of attorney. You should always discuss your wishes with whomever you decide to stand in your place if you should ever become incapacitated.
You may not be able to stave off all family conflicts. However, you can take some steps to help ensure a smoother administration of your estate.