ESTATE PLANNING: HOW TO AVOID CONFLICTS AMONG FAMILY MEMBERS

As time goes by, thoughts typically turn to planning your estate in a manner that will keep conflict at a minimum and accomplish your goals. Texas residents wonder how to accomplish all of this without setting family members at odds with one another when it comes time to distributing assets. Several suggestions were recently offered as a general road map to keeping things peaceful.

It’s not a good idea to assume that family members will see everything the same way. Being proactive may go a long ways toward resolving festering issues before they subsequently erupt into full scale estate litigation. If that happens, you won’t be around to solve the problem, and the more you do now to address any apparent issues, the smoother things may go down the line.

As you know, it is not always possible to divide assets equally, but thought and care should go into your decisions to achieve a balanced distribution. One important aspect of being fair is keeping the lines of communication open, and family meetings may help. The more that is discussed and planned jointly, the less likely it is that disputes will come to the surface later. If there is already distrust among siblings, it may make sense to appoint an impartial third party to tend to estate administration.

In the end, the extent to which issues can be dealt with in an open and caring atmosphere, you may find that your estate planning efforts will pay off now and in the future.

Source: foxbusiness.com, “How to Avoid a Family Feud Over an Inheritance,” Sheryl Nance-Nash, Aug. 22, 2012