You might have been putting off the process of estate planning for a long time. There might be a thought in the back of your mind that it’s because of the possibility of loved ones fighting in the future once you have clearly articulated your plans in a legal document. However, by expressing your wishes, you are attempting to guide your loved ones through an emotional and difficult time but what looks good on paper and feels good to you could actually increase chances of family discord in the future. You can minimize the possibility of family conflict by incorporating four things into your estate planning process.

First of all, name personal property, specifically if it needs to be called out clearly like a piece of costume jewelry or childhood toy. This might not seem like a big issue to you, but if it’s very special to one of your heirs, it should be name item listed in your estate plan. The second step involves naming the right executor.

All too often families turn to naming executors based on family hierarchy or personal relationships without thinking about the skills and time needed for the job, make sure that the person you choose has the experience as well as the interest to serve in this important role. The third thing to consider in minimizing family conflict in your estate planning is to avoid tying out money for a very long period. Estate provisions that limit access to money for decades could be very problematic especially if you have a trust that allows children to inherit assets only after the surviving spouse passes away.

Finally, when creating your estate plan, you are well within your rights to transfer unequal bequests or shares to your loved ones, but it’s well worth going the extra miles to explain these unequal bequests to minimize the chances that one of your children will fight this in the future. Schedule a consultation with an estate planning attorney today to learn more- while our office in Pasadena is currently not accessible to clients, we are still assisting over the phone and scheduling meetings as needed.

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