Everyone has heard one or two horror stories about families being torn apart over inheritance conflicts. When you are gone, you will no longer be able to influence your beneficiaries, so it makes sense to address potential areas of conflict while you are of sound mind and body.
There are many reasons why an inheritance dispute may erupt after your passing. Some siblings and other family members simply do not get along. Another reason often centers on a "black sheep" relative whom other family members believe does not deserve a share of the property. In the end, the reasons don't matter. What does matter is your peace of mind and the security of knowing that your loved ones receive the inheritance you intended.
Here are some tips to help you minimize inheritance conflicts while you are still alive:
-- Talk about your assets with family members and express your wishes.
-- Be clear in your estate planning documents and your conversations about loans and gifts.
-- If possible, consider leaving your children inheritances that are equally valued.
-- Make your funeral arrangements now to minimize emotional conflict.
-- Transition a family business to a child or other relative before you pass away.
-- Make logical decisions that your beneficiaries can understand.
-- Ensure your trusts are properly funded to avoid confusion probate.
The list above contains a fraction of the ways you can use estate planning to minimize or prevent conflict over the inheritances you leave behind. An experienced Tennessee estate planning attorney can provide advice and guidance as you determine who should receive your assets.
Source: American Association of Individual Investors, "18 Recommendations for Minimizing Inheritance Conflict," Mark Accettura, accessed Nov. 17, 2016