Talking about estate planning with your family isn’t necessarily going to be easy, but it’s something that you should plan on doing if you want to prevent disputes after you pass away. You may have heard about families that have fought following the death of a loved one because a will was not what they expected or because they didn’t receive the assets they thought that they would.
As the person who is creating an estate plan, this is your opportunity to clear the air and help your family understand your wishes. How do you start that conversation? Here are a few tips.
1. Call people together as a group, not individually
One good way to prevent disputes is to make sure everyone knows what’s happening. What you say to one person could be misunderstood, but if you provide that same explanation to your beneficiaries as a group, they can ask questions and clarify your meaning. That way, there’s a lower risk of a fight later on.
2. Write down your intentions and let your beneficiaries know
If you write down what you plan to do in your estate plan, give those who will benefit a copy. They can review it and ask you questions if they have them. When something’s written down, others can refer back to it and make sure they understand.
3. Talk about a no-contest clause
Finally, talk to your loved ones about a no-contest clause. If you really want to them to avoid fighting, make a clause that shows that they will be disinherited if they argue against your wishes. This should minimize complaints that aren’t legitimate.
These are three things you can do to help minimize the risk of conflict due to your estate plan. Your attorney can help you take steps to protect your interests, too.