A death in the family is always difficult. In addition to the obvious pain associated with losing a loved one, practical matters, such as who will inherit what property, sometimes create additional tension among family members. Although this is unfortunate, it is an extremely common occurrence following a loved one’s death. Luckily, with a little planning, most fights among family members can be prevented. In this article, we share some tips for preventing family squabbles after a death.
Tip #1: Make A Special Gifts List
Whether you have a will or living trust, you should make a list of the special gifts you want to give and who you want to receive them. If you are concerned that the list might be challenged after your death, you should sign it in the presence of someone who isn’t on the list as a beneficiary. In addition, to be extra careful, you should consider having it notarized. In order to prevent disagreements regarding your intentions, make sure your list is very specific.
Tip #2: Ask Beneficiaries What They Want
An easy way to prevent disagreements regarding your estate plan is to simply ask beneficiaries what they want. If two beneficiaries want the same thing, discuss the matter with them and try to reach an agreement.
Tip #3: Make Gifts Now
When you make gifts now of items you no longer use, you not only get to witness people enjoying them during your lifetime, but you avoid potential disagreements after your passing.
Tip #4: Write a Description
You should write descriptions of all items you plan to leave to your beneficiaries as part of your estate plan. This is especially useful for items that have sentimental value or are family heirlooms. This is a useful way to let beneficiaries know exactly what they’re getting, and it can go a long way in keeping beneficiaries from fighting over items down the road.
Tip #5: Explain Any Unequal Inheritances
Leaving beneficiaries different amounts of money or property is common in estate planning. However, if you don’t plan on leaving each beneficiary the same amount of property or assets, you should let them know beforehand. This keeps unpleasant surprises to a minimum and goes a long way in preventing family squabbles.
Contact a Florida and New York Estate Planning Attorney
If you’d like to create an effective estate plan that minimizes disagreements among family members, you need an experienced Florida and New York estate planning attorney on your side. At the Law Office of Angela Siegel, attorney Angela Siegel provides comprehensive estate planning services to residents of Florida and New York. Ms. Siegel is a knowledgeable and experienced estate planning attorney, and she approaches the estate planning process with the aim of preventing family disagreements. Please contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.