Often, death and money can bring out the worse in families. Without a solid estate plan, family relationships can fall apart. While good estate planning in Ridgeland will not solve each issue or let a family avoid conflicts, it can help minimize conflict and put conditions in place to promote open communication and respect. To prevent family conflicts over inheritance in the future, here are tips you should consider:
Create a Comprehensive Estate Plan
By having all important documents properly made and completed, arguments are less likely to arise. If you have established a living trust, ensure it has proper funding and holds all your big assets including your real property. Ensure your children are included in your will and that it clearly specifies your desires in terms of guardianship and personal property distribution. An advanced health care directive and a durable power of attorney are important components of your estate plan to ensure you are well taken care of when you become incapacitated. In addition, your plan must also include retirement assets with named beneficiaries. If your children or siblings have copies of your estate plan, make sure they get the updated versions.
Most people will try to be as fair as possible in terms of asset division. However, being equitable may be different from being fair. For instance, when a child has more medical needs than another, you may want to leave the former more of your assets. When one of your children is an elementary teacher and has five children while the other is a wealthy company owner, it might be unfair to leave your estate to them equally. A great attorney will listen to you and understand your goals, so they can help you identify your intentions and respect your values. No matter your decision, a great plan must be clear about your wishes.
Think about sitting down with your kids to discuss your estate plan. Nobody wants surprises following a death. But most parents don’t want to discuss their estate plans with their kids. However, if you don’t want to split your assets equally or wish to provide one child a certain asset, or want to disinherit a child, you should consider allowing your children to know about these plans beforehand. Otherwise, more serious family conflicts will arise in the future when you are no longer there to deal with the situation. By letting your wishes known while you are still alive, you can prepare your children mentally and emotionally for your desires.