Family Estate Planning

It’s every parent’s dream to be able to pass along their legacy and leave something substantial and meaningful behind for their family. However, if you don’t tread carefully when creating your inheritance plan, you could end up inadvertently causing resentment between siblings and altering the family dynamic. To ensure everyone is happy and that you’re remembered exactly how you want to be, avoid family estate conflicts by using these five strategies.

Call Family Meetings

A simple way to avoid catching your family off guard with your inheritance decisions is to hold family meetings. Talking directly to your children about your plans and asking for their preferences can help prevent any surprises that may leave people feeling hurt or angry. Opening up the communication channels will allow your children to at least negotiate amongst each other. This could make it easier for you to distribute your belongings without causing any conflict to begin with.

Create Detailed Instructions

The majority of family arguments center around how the personal property is distributed when a parent passes away. You can avoid causing family drama over your belongings by creating a detailed list of instructions. This should outline in detail who will inherit what and then add it into your estate plan so that your executor can appropriately carry out your wishes once you are gone.

Adjust for Gifts and Loans

If you loaned money to one of your children to help with their tuition or a business, you should adjust for this when you plan your inheritance. If you don’t, one of your other children who didn’t need support may become upset feeling as if they’ve lost out.

Appoint a Mediator

Even when you’ve tried your best to please everyone, emotions run high during times like these. If there was a previous dispute between siblings or if this is your second marriage (or third) it may be wise to hire a third-party trustee who can mediate if a disagreement arises or conflict breaks out.

Have a Professional Create Your Estate Plan

Having a well thought out and strategically-formed estate plan ensures that your wishes are appropriately expressed. This allows you to provide adequate support and financial stability for your family in the manner you desired. When you work with a financial advisor, you’ll receive advice and solutions that help maximize your estate’s value, distribute your assets as planned, and minimize any taxes so that your beneficiaries receive the intended amounts. They’ll even help you leave a lasting legacy that you’ll be remembered for.

The best time to plan your estate is now. If you’re looking to create an estate plan that will create the most value and avoid family estate conflicts, we at The Beacon Group of Assante Financial Management Ltd. can help you. We’re here to help you understand how the decisions you make today will impact your estate in the future.