In the event of a loved one’s death, a family should be united in celebration of their life – not divided by disagreements over how treasured heirlooms and other possessions should be dispersed.
Unfortunately, this division becomes a great source of contention for many families, often leading to broken bonds and added stress.
Learn what positive steps you can take now to include your loved ones in your plans and be sure – when the time comes – you have done all you can to bring them peace and unity in their mourning.
4 Things You Can Do to Avoid Family Contention After Your Death
Talk with your heirs while you’re in good health
Have direct conversations with your family members about which of your valued possessions they might want and why. You can also ask them what they think other family members should inherit. This is a great way to learn about what is meaningful to your loved ones, share memories, and ultimately, help you make important decisions about your personal belongings.
Create a personal property memorandum
Take notes during your conversations with family members to help you draft a list of personal property and who you intend to leave each item to. Signing this memorandum and including it in your Will can help prevent family disputes about whether or not your wishes are being properly carried out after your death.
Create a plan for real estate property
When real estate is left to a group of family members, and no one person carries the responsibility of making decisions regarding its upkeep, management or sale, this can lead to disagreements and distress amongst loved ones. Create a plan for how you want your real estate to be handled; this could include outlining a process for making family decisions, setting up a real estate investment trust, and other specifics.
Talk with an estate planning lawyer
From setting up an estate to determining how to divide other assets, working with an experienced estate planning lawyer can help you ensure that your wishes are accurately communicated and legally binding.
You have worked hard to provide for your loved ones. You can give them an additional gift that will live on after your passing – the gift of a clearly stated estate plan.