Upon the death of a loved one, it’s not uncommon for emotions to run high. Unfortunately, when grief becomes overwhelming, it can lead to a number of other issues. For many, the passing of the head of an estate signals a shift in a family, which can cause tensions to rise over inheritances. If you’re looking to avoid familial conflict upon your passing and the distribution of your estate, taking the time to consult with a Washtenaw County estate planning attorney is crucial. Keep reading to learn what you can do to reduce the risk of fighting.
What Are Common Issues That Lead to Familial Conflict?
Unfortunately, you may find that many will fight over the idea of “fairness.” One or more inheritors may feel snubbed if they believe they did not receive a fair amount of your assets or that another party received more than necessary.
Another aspect of estate planning that may cause fighting is when you do not have a plan. Unfortunately, when you pass without a will, it is up to the state to determine how your assets will be distributed. As such, your estate may be split between a number of beneficiaries, several of whom you may not want to receive anything at all.
What Can I Do When Estate Planning to Minimize This Risk?
The most important thing you can do to reduce the risk of conflict following your passing is to create an estate plan with your wishes clearly stated. This helps prevent your assets from ending up in the hands of the state and being distributed to parties you do not wish to inherit your estate. This will prevent your intended beneficiaries from enduring the stress of fighting over assets.
Another thing you may wish to do is vary how much you leave specific beneficiaries. For example, if you want to split your IRA account between your three children while leaving one an expensive and sentimental item, this may be unfair. As such, you can leave them the item and a smaller portion of the IRA so it is fair for your other children. Similarly, if you have one child who is considerably more wealthy than the others, you may want to leave them a smaller portion of the estate. This allows you to still care for your child in case of an emergency while leaving the greater portion to the children who may benefit more.
Finally, you may also want to consider including a no-contest clause in your will. Essentially, this means that any of your beneficiaries who try to contest the will and fail will relinquish their right to the inheritance left for them.
If you’re ready to start planning your estate, it’s important to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. As you can see, there are many considerations you must make when planning an estate, so letting an attorney from Collis, Griffor & Hendra guide you through this process can help you achieve peace of mind. Contact our firm today to learn how we can ensure your wishes are met.