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Is My Family At-Risk for In-Fighting Over My Estate?

Published on May 23rd, 2019

Estate Planning Lawyer

When constructing an estate plan, it is important to keep several things in mind. Yes, you want to make sure that you work with an attorney to ensure that your wishes are clearly articulated and are ultimately enforceable. Yes, you want to “cover your bases” and ensure that you are utilizing all of the estate planning tools available that are relevant to your unique situation. But you also need to think long and hard about the ways in which your estate plan will be received. Will its terms cause tension within your family? Can these tensions be avoided with careful planning or do you need to treat in-fighting as an inevitability and safeguard your estate plan accordingly? An experienced attorney can help you navigate either of these scenarios.

Avoiding Family Conflict Related to Estate Plans

How do you know if your estate plan is likely to inspire family in-fighting? One can never know for sure. However, there are some “signs” that may help you to predict whether you need to discuss this possibility with your estate planning attorney. For example, if there is significant sibling rivalry in your family (either within your generation or younger generations) this may serve as a signal that tensions could erupt over the terms of your estate plan once you are gone. Similarly, if your family is blended in complex ways and this blending has caused tension in the past, this could serve as a red flag that you should prepare for the possibility of in-fighting over your estate. Other warning signs could include economic disparity between your loved ones, mental and/or substance abuse challenges in the family, familial estrangement and/or favoritism within your estate plan. It is your estate plan and you should structure it in ways that reflect your desires. But if you are going to heavily favor some beneficiaries and not others, you may need to prepare for some hard feelings.

It is possible to mitigate potential tensions and/or prepare for some that may be inevitable. Working with an experienced estate planning attorney can help.

Estate Planning Assistance Is Available

If you have questions about estate planning generally or how to structure an estate plan in order to minimize in-fighting specifically, please do not hesitate to connect with an experienced estate planning attorney today. An estate planning law firm in St. Peters, MO has worked with all kinds of family dynamics within the context of estate planning. They would be happy to both answer any questions you may have and to help you explore the best ways to structure your estate plan in order to minimize any family tensions it could possibly inspire. Once you make the decisions that are best for you and your family, they can handle the “heavy lifting” of creating your actual estate planning documents. They can also help to ensure that they remain updated as your life evolves. Please consider scheduling a consultation today.

 


 

Thanks to Sweeney Legal for their insight into estate planning and family in-fighting.

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