Can an Estate Plan Help Reduce Familial Conflict Over Inheritances?

man and woman arguing

You want your family to come together and be there for each other when you pass away. You do not want them fighting and arguing over who gets what now that you are gone. Fortunately, there is an easy way to make yourself clear about inheritances and who will be receiving which assets from you. You can make an estate plan and tell your family about it. A Woodland Hills, California estate planning attorney from our firm can help you.

How Should I Explain My Estate Plan to Family Members?

When you make your estate plan and explain it to your family, you can reduce the chances of them fighting over inheritances later. We recommend that you:

Speak to your family members about what you plan to do: You can talk to your family and tell them that you are getting ready to make an estate plan. You can even ask them if there are particular things that are important to them. This can help you decide what to pass down to whom, and this can make it less likely that there will be conflict over specific items later on.

Draft a letter to go with your estate plan: You do not just need to assign inheritances to people and leave it at that. You are entitled to explain yourself and tell people why they received specific items. If someone did not receive anything, you could explain why that is in a separate correspondence to them.

If your relatives can see that you had reasons for doing what you did and leaving certain items or assets to specific family members, it can make them less likely to fight. Your wishes are clear, even if they are not in complete agreement with what you chose to do.

Should I Include a No-Contest Clause For Family Members With Inheritances?

In some cases, people planning their estate like to put a no-contest clause in their will for everyone who receives inheritances. When you put this clause in a will, you are not expressly forbidding anyone from challenging your estate plan, but you are making it risky. This is because anyone who challenges your will with this kind of clause in place will end up losing their inheritance.

This can make people think twice before they try to start a legal battle. Whether or not you think that such a clause may be useful can depend on a few factors, like the temperament of your family members and the assets involved. We still think that being upfront about your estate plans is one of the best ways to reduce the chances of conflict though.

Talk to Our Legal Team

So if you do not have an estate plan in place, do not wait any longer. Contact the Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman and schedule a consultation. We can work with you to develop an estate plan that is fair, and we will help you make sure that your wishes are honored after you are gone.

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