One of the services I offer here at James M. Snow Law is estate planning, and one of the most frequent concerns I hear in regard to estate planning is a worry that my clients’ children will squabble over their inheritance. If you are worried about conflicts during the estate settlement process, I can help you take steps to reduce the “fuel” for dispute when making your will. While your beneficiaries’ behavior is still ultimately up to them, making sure that your intentions are laid out clearly will help prevent your surviving family from getting into legal battles over their shares.
- Anticipate Conflict- One thing you can do to reduce conflict during the estate settlement process is actively prepare for it. Instead of simply assuming that all your beneficiaries will get along, acknowledge the potential for disagreement and work to give your loved ones a way to resolve conflict peacefully. For example, you can name a trusted agent to act in your best interest, but require that person to seek legal advice and consult other family members before making certain types of decisions, such as selling the family home.
- Plan Proactively- Another thing you can do to reduce conflict during the estate settlement process is to simply make sure you have a clear plan. We recommend that you begin planning your estate while you are still young and healthy so you can think logically about your future.
- Discuss Your Estate Plan with Your Family- A third thing you can do to reduce the likelihood of conflict during the estate settlement process is to discuss your plans with your loved ones. Your beneficiaries will be more likely to accept the plans laid out in your will if they hear them from you directly first.