Most Tennessee residents are aware of the importance of creating a comprehensive estate plan. That said, many people focus only on the distribution of wealth and the most effective means of achieving those goals. They overlook the human component of the issue and fail to talk about those plans with the loved ones who are slated to receive an inheritance.
The result can be a significant amount of infighting and contention after the death of the grantor. Family members are often completely unaware of the intent of their loved one, and instead, they choose to fill in their own beliefs about how assets should be divided. This can lead to bitterness and anger and may result in a court battle.
The best way to offset the risk of contention among heirs is to have a series of frank and open discussions on the matter. This can be a difficult conversation to have, and not every family member will be receptive to these talks. However, heirs who are aware of the intent behind an estate plan can find it much easier to accept those provisions.
It is also important to remember to revisit the topic any time that there has been a significant change in plans. Heirs may vividly recall a conversation about an inheritance, but they can be ignorant of the fact that those plans may have shifted over time. By ensuring that everyone is aware of the basic structure of an estate plan, Tennessee families can make the timeframe following a loss far easier to bear.
Source: recordonline.com, "Bonnie Kraham: Planning can help avoid estate fight", Bonnie Kraham, Dec. 9, 2015