An estate plan is intended to leave heirs feeling supported when their loved one has passed on. So it is disappointing when the prospect of inheritances does nothing but turn heirs against one another. Understandably so, you likely do not want your legacy to be diminished by your heirs’ squabbles. Follow along to find out what estate planning strategies to use to avoid familial conflict over inheritances and how a proficient Putnam County estate litigation attorney at The Law Office of Andres D. Gil, PLLC can help you take this approach.
What estate planning strategies can I use to avoid familial conflict over inheritances?
For one, simply establishing a valid and enforceable will may not be enough to curb familial conflict over inheritances. Rather, you may need to add a no-contest clause. This clause may state that any heir who unsuccessfully challenges the terms and conditions you outlined in your will automatically forfeits any gift or bequest that was originally granted to them.
In addition, you may want to establish a revocable living trust. This will allow you to edit your terms and conditions for property distribution and heir designations up until the day of your passing. What’s more, this will allow you to put your property in the joint name of you and your desired heir. In other words, your property will automatically transfer to your desired heir and leave little to no room for others to question its ownership.
On top of this, it may be in your best interest to assign a third-party, non-familial individual as the trustee of your trust. This is so your prospective heirs can rest assured knowing that the trustee has nothing to gain from the property distribution.
What are other approaches to avoid conflict?
In addition to the estate planning documents that you establish, there are different ways to prepare your prospective heirs for what to expect upon your passing. The key takeaway with these approaches is that you must be as transparent as possible. Examples are as follows:
- You can spearhead a meeting with your prospective heirs regarding your intentions behind assigning certain property.
- You can distribute a letter of instruction to your prospective heirs regarding how you wish your property to be dispersed.
- You can distribute copies of your estate planning documents to your prospective heirs to disclose how your property is to be dealt out.
- You can listen to your prospective heirs’ interest in certain family heirlooms or sentimental assets.
- You can place tags on minor items not incorporated into your estate plan to disclose your wishes regarding their assignments.
At the end of the day, if you wish to maintain peace amongst your heirs, then you need a talented Putnam County estate planning attorney by your side. Contact The Law Office of Andres D. Gil, PLLC to retain our services today.