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How to prevent family conflicts over a will

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How to prevent family conflicts over a will

On Behalf of | Oct 3, 2018 | Estate Planning, Firm News

One of the reasons Colorado residents draft wills is to prevent family conflicts over their wishes once they pass away from occurring. However, the mere presence of a will won’t magically ensure that family squabbles won’t arise. Careful planning is required to make sure that someone’s estate plan is executed with minimal drama.

For example, estate planning experts say that it is essential to name the right executor of the will. While many people choose someone based on family hierarchy, such as the oldest child, it is more important to choose someone who is up to the challenge. This means that they should be ethical, responsible and organized. To this end, it may be advisable to appoint a corporate trustee or a professional fiduciary as the executor. Next, it is important to remember to include personal property in the will. Small things, such as holiday decorations or costume jewelry, can set off major fights. Experts say it’s helpful for people to ask their children what personal items mean the most to them before writing the will.

Experts also advise that it’s usually best to not tie up an heir’s inheritance for too long. While trusts that dole out an inheritance over many years are supposed to keep young people from blowing the money, these arrangements can also make heirs feel overly restricted and like their parents didn’t trust them to make wise decisions with their inheritance. Finally, if there are good reasons why one child is going to inherit more money than the others, be sure to explain those reasons ahead of time. For example, parents could call a family meeting and explain why the estate isn’t being divided equally.

Individuals interested in drafting a will could learn about their legal options by contacting an estate planning attorney. A lawyer could carefully review his or her client’s situation and help create an estate plan that meets his or her needs.