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How Estate Planning Can Avoid Family Feuds

When most people plan for the future and go through the estate planning process, they think how their will or trust can avoid probate or minimize taxes. These are good things to think about, but you should also consider how your estate will impact the people you leave behind.

Family feuds over estates or inheritances can be exhausting. Not only can they drag on for years and harm family relations, but they can also deplete the entire estate. When crafting a trust or will, you can set up the foundation for a smooth and amicable transition. The most important factor in crafting an estate is communication with your loved ones.

Our Phoenix estate planning lawyers share some things to think about when creating a plan that can help avoid family feuds:

  • Don’t assume your children will be able to figure it out. Make sure you have a specific plan in place to avoid any arguments, confusion, or anger about your wishes. Assuming your children will know what you want and will be capable of determining what to do with your estate can put them in conflict.
  • Don’t assume what items your children will want to inherit. Family feuding can get just as ugly over items with sentimental value as they do monetary value. It is best to communicate with your children about who would like what. It is easy to split the money evenly, but it is difficult to divide up items with meaning, such as wedding rings, heirlooms, etc.
  • Talk with your children about who will be the executor. Defaulting to the oldest child doesn’t benefit every family situation. Have a real conversation with your children about who the executor should be and who would want to inherit specific items. Having this conversation may be difficult, but it can also help you better understand your children’s thoughts and feelings so you can plan ahead.

For more information about estate planning in Phoenix, contact Thies & Lihn, PLLC today and set up a consultation.