It is normal for families to squabble and fight, but rivalries and grudges may come to an all-time high when inheritance enters the picture. No matter how kind and respectful your family members are, you should prepare your estate properly to avoid arguments during the probate process.
Estate administration can be fraught with disputes. Are you afraid your beneficiaries will feud over your property and money? Here are some red flags that your heirs may quarrel over your estate:
1. There is a sibling rivalry
Do you have children that have a relationship full of bickering? If so, this tension may become even worse once you pass away, turning the administration of your estate into a battleground to settle old scores. You can avoid this by communicating your intentions with your heirs now. Additionally, consider appointing an executor or trustee who has conflict-resolution skills.
2. Naming co-trustees
If you have a trust, you may want to name multiple people to share the responsibility of overseeing it. For example, you may name two of your children because you do not want to hurt any feelings. However, this can quickly turn into a mess. If any disagreements arise, there will be problems. Name a single trustee to keep things as simple as possible.
3. Economic disparities
Your children may have different socioeconomic statuses. This may cause some heirs to sell assets, which may anger more affluent beneficiaries. You can reduce the chances of this by writing down your wishes regarding your assets. Do you want certain ones to be preserved? Should they be sold under certain conditions? Also, you should avoid giving a lot more of your estate to children who are needier. This can cause others to feel resentment, so divide your wealth as equally as possible.
You may not be able to control what happens to your estate once you are gone, but you can take steps today to help your family avoid estate disputes.