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Your estate plan could help lessen the chance of conflict

You are likely among the many people who want to create an estate plan in order to detail how you want your final affairs handled. This desire is immensely beneficial, and having a plan can make the probate process easier for your loved ones. However, family disputes often taken place after a loved one passes, and if you do not take certain preventative measures, the inheritance you leave your family could dwindle.

You may already fear that conflict will arise after your death because your family has a naturally combative nature. While this fear can cause substantial worry, it may also help you create the best estate plan possible to work toward avoiding conflicts where you can.

Common issues that cause strife

Some of the most common problems that lead to estate disputes are unrealistic expectations and mistrust among family members. Some people may think that they deserve hundreds of thousands of dollars when that is likely not the case. Still, because they have that sense of entitlement, they may contest a will in hopes of gaining more valuable assets.

Blended families in particular often see issues with mistrust. Adult children may see their stepparent as a threat or someone who only married their parent for money. As a result, these children may feel the need to contest a will if the stepparent obtains a considerable amount of the estate.

What you can do

One of the best steps you can take to lessen the likelihood of conflict is to create an estate plan. Just having these instructions in place can work to prevent strife, even if they are not entirely effective in preventing all conflicts. Other ways you can help your family and your estate include the following:

  • Talk to your family about your wishes to dispel unrealistic expectations and misunderstandings.
  • Make sure you do not forget about your plans, and keep them updated.
  • Consider making your distributions fair but not necessarily equal.

Of course, your plan and your family situation are unique. Therefore, the exact steps you take when estate planning will depend on your specific desires for your estate, your family dynamic and the level of conflict you anticipate. If you hope to make a comprehensive and effective plan, you may want to enlist the help of an attorney.

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Leonard F. Berg, Attorney at Law