Florida parents often know that siblings can find any reason to fight. Even as they get older, some siblings may continue to squabble over little details. As a result, you may worry that your children may get into a fight over your remaining assets after your passing.
While family disputes over estates are not uncommon, you can take steps to help lessen the likelihood of this possibility. In particular, the best step you can take is to create an estate plan that details your wishes for asset distribution and other aspects of settling your final affairs. By making your wishes known now, you may give your children less reason to fight amongst themselves later.
While your estate plan itself can lessen the likelihood of fights, you may also want to take the time to discuss your wishes with your children. If they only read your instructions on paper after you are gone, it may not be enough for them to feel fully comfortable with the choices you made. However, if you talk to them ahead of time and explain why you chose to make certain decisions and allow them to ask questions, they may be more likely to accept your wishes and your reasons.
The details of your plan can also impact whether conflict could take place. Therefore, you may want to consider including the following details in your plan:
- Equal distribution: If you divide your estate equally among your children or other beneficiaries, they may be less likely to fight over who got more.
- Address family jewels: Many jewels that belong to family members can garner a great deal of sentimental value and attachment. It may reduce conflict if you bequeath items to specific people rather than letting the children divide them among themselves.
- Appoint an executor: You can name an executor in your will, and this person will have the duty of settling your final affairs. If you choose one of your children to act in this role, you may want to discuss the appointment with all of your children ahead of time.
- Address gifts and loans: Parents sometimes give their children money when they are struggling. You may want to use your estate plan to specify whether any previously given monies were gifts or loans and whether those loans need paying back to the estate.
You may also wish to include other important details in your estate plans specific to your wishes and your family. Gaining information on your estate planning options may help you determine the best way for you to create a comprehensive and conflict-reducing plan.