Avoiding Family Disputes over Estate Planning, Part One

When someone in a family dies, the last thing anyone wants is a dispute over inheritance. You may not think that your children and other relatives, who care about and respect each other now, would resort to fighting over the details of your estate plan, but it happens. You may be able to prevent it from happening with a few tips from us on how to do you estate planning in Cary NC to avoid those ugly family fights.

Avoiding Disputes With Estate Planning in Cary NC

In this two-part series, we will look at a few steps you can take now to avoid having your loved ones fight over your choices in how your estate is settled.

The first thing that can minimize tension and prevent fights is having a will. If you do not have a will, your estate will have to be settled by the courts, and it may not end up the way you or your family members wanted. State laws determine intestacy, or how things will be distributed. It can vary depending on where you live, your marital status and if you have children. If you want a say on how your assets are handled after you die, then you need to create a valid will. Estate planning in Cary NC

should always incorporate a will. 

The probate process, which is when your will is validated and processed, can be a lengthy ordeal. Family disputes can arise when people are impatient. Most well written wills will pass through the process smoothly, but there are other ways to distribute assets that can avoid probate. You can talk to a lawyer about creating joint ownership of property, creating beneficiaries and trusts, and giving away assets while you are alive in order to avoid probate.

If you have an estate plan and have not shared the details with your loved ones, it can cause disputes after you are gone, especially if you have made decisions that may surprise your family. When your family knows nothing of your plans and just assumes that things will be divided among them evenly, they will be shocked to learn that you decided to go a different route. Some children may think that you will give more to the ones who have less, and may be surprised to find out that you did divided things up evenly. Either way, you may want to explain your choices beforehand so there will be no surprises later on. It is your prerogative to decide how you want your assets to be distributed and if you want to disclose it now, but if you want to avoid those fights after you are gone, it may be best to make your choices known and give your reasons behind them.

If you do decide to explain your choices to your family, remember that they do not have to agree with you. In some cases they may not, but at least they will be able to ask why you made certain choices. We would like to believe that people would not become upset over material things, but it does happen. We attach sentimental value to things, so when your daughter is upset because she is not getting your wedding ring, it is not because of the monetary value; it’s the feelings she has associated with it.

In the next part of this series we will talk more about how to avoid family disputes with estate planning in Cary NC. Check back to read more!

Klish and Eldreth | Estate Lawyers in Cary NC

Contact us today, to learn more about estate planning in Cary NC. Our estate lawyers will be able to help you create a valid will and other documents that ensure your wishes are carried out upon your death.

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