An Estate Battle Doesn’t Have to Happen Among Your Family
Life is difficult and traumatic after the loss of a loved one. Tempers flare and arguments ensue as part of the grieving process. Plus, if you didn’t take the time to draft a detailed estate plan, your family could be on the brink of an estate battle. Due to differing socio-economic situations, personal choices, or who provided end of life care, a member of your family may feel entitled to a larger share of your assets after your death. Your will/trust could become contested, and all the assets would be frozen until the legal matter is resolved. This could take years and cost your estate quite a bit of money in legal fees. When the estate battle does finally end, everyone will get significantly less, and as a result they may never speak to each other again. Unfortunately, this is an all too common experience for many people.
Tips to Prevent an Estate Battle
1. Communicate Your Wishes and Reasons for Them ASAP
Communicating your estate planning wishes early, and drafting legally binding estate planning documents is the best way to prevent an estate battle. While this topic might be difficult to bring up to your adult children, it needs to happen. Being open and honest about what you intend to do with your assets and why you are doing it gives your adult children an opportunity to process and come to terms with your decisions. If you think one member of your family should receive more of your assets than another, now is the time to inform everyone.
2. Consult with Your Family About Your Estate Plan
This is the best way to divide up a lot of your smaller possessions and assets. One of your children might favor the china tea set while the other would rather have a hockey stick you’ve had tucked away in your garage. Another way to distribute smaller items is to put a tag on the item with the heir’s names on it. This process is not necessarily legally binding, but it can help guide them as they make their way through your assets.
3. Endeavor for Equality
Equally distributing your assets among your adult children is another way to keep an estate battle from erupting. Taking the time to receive appraisals for your assets is a good first step to the equal distribution of assets. Liquidating everything yourself is another way of equally distributing assets. This method ensures that each heir receives an equal portion of money.
4. Consult with Your Estate Planning Lawyer Independently
Your family should be the first people you consult with as you put together your estate plan. However, it is a good idea for you to draft legal documents with your estate planning attorney. In order to put together a comprehensive set of documents that address all your final wishes, your planner will be asking you quite a few questions. This is your estate and your assets. You should have the final say about what happens to them without any outside influence. Completing this process one-on-one lets your lawyer know that you are expressing your honest wishes and not amending them because someone else is in the room.
5. Update and Review your Estate Plan Regularly
Your relationships with your family are going to change over time. There may come a point where someone in your family needs to be disinherited or their inheritance may need to be reinstated. It’s a good idea to review your estate plan regularly. Most estate planning attorneys recommend that you review your plan once a year to make sure your final wishes are still what you want.
LeAnn Schumann is Available to Make Sure Your Final Wishes are Documented Correctly
Your final wishes are the last marks you will leave on this earth. Make sure they are exactly what you want and carried out by someone you trust. LeAnn Schumann is an experienced estate planning attorney. She knows exactly which questions to ask to ensure you address every aspect of your assets and how to distribute them. She is available to serve the people of Reno, Sparks, Carson City, Fallon, Fernley, Dayton, Yerington, Douglas County, and all other Northern NV rural counties.
Protect Your Family From an Estate Battle That Could Tear Them Apart
Contact LeAnn at Jesse Kalter Law Today for an Estate Planning Consultation
CLICK HERE to Contact Online or Call 775-331-3888
PROTECT YOUR HEIRS – WHAT’S YOUR FREEDOM WORTH?®