Consider potential beneficiary conflicts while estate planning

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Creating an estate plan is an invaluable component of protecting and providing for your family and loved ones once you pass away. However, just as estate plans offer differing protections or benefits, some estate planning strategies may actually create enormous conflicts that you might not intend.

As you consider your estate planning strategy, it is wise to acknowledge the effects that certain estate distributions (or lack thereof) can have on your beneficiaries and heirs. While you cannot control how others respond to your choices, you can certainly consider these potential responses thoughtfully. For instance, if you choose to leave someone out of your will, or wish to distribute assets with significant personal or monetary value, you may communicate unintentionally negative or hurtful things to those who do not receive what they expect.

Of course, your wishes are yours, and you have the right to protect and distribute your assets as you see fit. In many cases, an effective path forward is to make your wishes clear, even if those wishes may encourage conflict. Once you determine your priorities, making those priorities clear in your will removes ambiguity. Even if your beneficiaries and family do not agree with your choices, clearly stating them can keep others from filling in the gaps in clarity with their own fears or emotional baggage.

The guidance of an experienced, professional estate planning attorney may prove invaluable in these matters. Often, communicating these conflicts and concerns directly to an attorney assisting you can help you construct an estate plan that protects your wishes while helping address potential problems before they arise.

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