As most Fort Lauderdale area parents understand, their children don’t always get along. Since they were little kids, siblings often have many disputes. But when it comes to a parent’s estate after they pass away, siblings can run into big problems. There are steps parents can take to minimize the disputes that can arise after their death.
Many parents in the Fort Lauderdale area want to leave their assets to their children so that they will have some security and enjoyment. Unfortunately, this can also cause sibling rivalry when parents pass away.
In order to keep family harmony, parents can consider some or all of the following options.
Recognize family conflicts
Parents know if their children have long-term resentment among themselves. If parents recognize this resentment they can build safeguards into their estate plan.
Have the children meet the parents’ financial professionals
It is important that children understand who their parents use as financial professionals and that they meet them. Children should understand what each financial professional does and where important documents are located.
Specific wishes are clearly communicated
Parents should make sure that anything they want specifically done is communicated clearly. Large assets should be clearly spelled out and any sentimental property should also be included in an estate plan. Take pictures of special objects and who will be inheriting it. Parents should talk to their kids about what special items they would like to inherit as well.
Appoint a trustee
A parent may want to consider appointing an objective trustee. Although it may seem like a good idea to pick one child, it is often a better idea to pick someone who has no legal or family interest in the estate.
Have a family meeting
Parents should have a meeting with their children to discuss the details of their estate plan. When siblings know what is going to happen in advance of their parents’ death it can help minimize conflict.
An attorney who specializes in estate planning and probate dispute can help their client create an estate plan that makes sense for their family. They can make sure the plan is comprehensive and meets the needs of their client.