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Basic Questions About Estate Planning – How do I Avoid Family Conflicts Over my Estate?

There are any number of widely published stories about family conflicts that arise after a celebrity has died and left behind an estate. A lot of people in the Greensboro, North Carolina area to come to us to craft an estate plan of their own precisely because they want to avoid this possibility. No one likes to think that their estate might cause family conflicts, so crafting an estate plan that minimizes this risk is often a primary concern. While it is not really possible to craft a plan that will completely eliminate the possibility of family conflicts arising after your death or incapacitation, it is possible to create a plan that will reduce these risks substantially.

Avoiding Family Conflict With Your Estate Plan. Open Communication

One of the best ways to avoid the possibility that a family conflict might arise over your estate is to be clear and open about your wishes and the choices you make with your plan. If, for example, you choose one sibling as the executor of your estate over another, or one child as the trustee of a trust over another, it’s important you be clear about your wishes and preferably communicate them before you die or become incapacitated. This is especially true with choices that might cause some people to feel slighted or overlooked.

Avoiding Family Conflict With Your Estate Plan. Create Your Plan Early

One of the more common reasons why family conflicts arise surrounding an estate is because the person who created the estate plan may not have been capable at the time. To avoid this possibility it is always better to create an estate plan while you are healthy and capable rather than waiting until you are sick, elderly, or have otherwise lost some of your capacity. Further, it’s important to keep your plan updated as time goes on, making sure you address any important changes in your life, the law, or your personal circumstances.

Avoiding Family Conflict With Your Estate Plan. Have a Plan

By far the easiest way to reduce the possibility of messy family conflicts over your estate is to create a clear, comprehensive estate plan with the guidance and assistance of an experienced attorney. A good plan will, at the very least, not only give you the ability to make choices about your estate, but also the ability to communicate those choices to your family members and loved ones.

Ensuring that your family members know your wishes is often enough to avoid many potential conflicts. On the other hand, should you die without leaving behind it will, disputes over what your wishes might have been can easily lead to complicated, protracted estate litigation situations.

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