Inheritance disputes can be time-consuming, expensive, and emotionally taxing on the surviving family.
Fortunately, proper estate planning can help reduce and even prevent disputes from happening.
How to avoid inheritance disputes
- Talk openly and honestly with family members about your wishes and plans, especially with your children and stepchildren.
- Don’t wait to set up a comprehensive estate plan.
- Attempt to divide your estate fairly among surviving relatives, and be open about any family estrangements.
- State your reasons for why you’re dividing your estate the way you are in the will or by including a letter of instruction, especially if
- you’re not dividing assets equitably.
- Talk to family members ahead of time about any items they want for sentimental reasons and make those wishes known to everyone involved.
- Make the difference between family loans and gifts clear.
- Avoid joint ownership.
- Keep your will and estate planning up-to-date and consult an estate planning attorney as needed to ensure your will complies with state requirements.
- Include a no-contest clause in the will to discourage having it contested.