While it is true that the death of a loved one often brings family together as they support one another and look back on memories, the opposite can also be true. Disputes can literally tear families apart during this time, especially when there is a contentious battle during estate settlement. We all want to leave a legacy behind, and we want that to be a positive one, not one of a family feud that never mends.
You can’t always avoid some situations where long-standing resentments that were held in check while you were alive are brought to the surface, but you can take steps to avoid potential family disputes over your estate by creating a will or trust. Here are a few tips that will help make things easier for the ones you leave behind.
1. Talk Things Over– You might think you know what your family expects from the estate, but unless you talk to them, you could create more disputes than you solve with a will or trust. Be sure to talk to whomever you are thinking you’d want to manage your estate settlement to be sure they’re willing to do so.
2. Account for Sentimental Items- It might surprise you that more people fight over what they view as a family heirloom more than they will about items of financial value. Take the time to learn which of your personal objects mean the most to the people in your family and allocate them accordingly in your will.
3. Take Care of Final Arrangements– The funeral is not a time when you want your family to be fighting because they have differing ideas about what your last wishes were. Either make your wishes known verbally and legally or make all the arrangements ahead of time.
Don’t assume that your family won’t fight over your funeral and estate. It is impossible to know what family disputes could arise when people are grieving. Do them a kindness and set up your final arrangements and estate settlement so that everything is clear. Turn to us at James M. Snow Law so your estate settlement documents can be properly prepared. We can help you with advice about conflict resolution, dealing with rivalries, and more. Call today with any questions or to arrange a consultation.