Family conflict that arises after a loved one’s passing commonly intensifies grief. Recognizing potential warning signs among your beneficiaries may help you designate your assets in a way that helps facilitate peace.
Drug dependence and mental health issues can complicate matters during your estate’s distribution. However, there are likely ways to safeguard your beneficiaries’ interests while addressing their unique challenges.
Is my family likely to fight?
As you create your estate plan, you might not imagine conflict occurring once you’re gone. However, you might be wise to consider some of these potential challenges before you document your wishes:
- Sibling rivalry. Losing a parent can intensify lifelong tensions among siblings. You may consider appointing a neutral individual or professional fiduciary to handle the estate.
- Economic differences between beneficiaries. A gap in financial status often breeds jealousy. Transparent communication about your wishes may bridge divisions.
- Being excluded from an estate plan may raise questions about an inheritance. Documenting changes in family dynamics is one way to exercise the law to your advantage.
- Late marriage. Tying the know at an older age, especially in blended families, may lead to resentment and disputes among heirs, but clearly defined legal asset designations are hard to argue.
- Outdated plans. Failing to keep your estate plan current opens the door to disputes. Regular updates mitigate the risk of conflict once you’re gone.
Taking proactive steps toward identifying warning signs like these should go a long way in preventing family feuds. Understanding the unique dynamics between your loved ones can help you leave a financial legacy and lay the foundation for your family to keep their focus on supporting each other as they mourn.