If you don’t want loved ones to deal with conflict after your passing, here are 8 tips for how to prevent property disputes in the family.
If you ask your friends if they experienced a family conflict over the property after a loved one passed away, you will receive an interesting and eye-opening response.
Family inheritance is often the source of conflict or tension within a family.
However, this need not be the case with yours. While it can be challenging to divide the estate of a deceased loved one, oftentimes, families end up even closer when they work out the details.
Plus I founded a groundbreaking video course called The Anxiety Cure.
I love sharing insights and strategies to help people to be happier and healthier.
So I put together this article with a few simple ways to prevent property disputes with loved ones.
To help ease feelings and calm conflicts, I have listed some insights to prevent family disputes over property after you are no longer with them.
Make plans to discuss your final affairs with your family. You can change the amount and nature of each person and explain how the property will be divided. You also have the option of explaining why you give someone a larger share than someone else.
Make your family’s life easier by having an estate plan in place. It will enable you to leave all of your money, properties, and debts to your heirs. However, the absence of an estate plan can make things more difficult for family members if you’re not around.
To make it happen, you can get in touch with reputable companies that help create an estate plan reflecting your values. Every adult needs to have a will, a durable power of attorney for financial matters, and a life insurance plan. It will help you distribute your estate to your family and loved ones based on your testament.
Do not attend a family meeting if you’re nervous about sibling rivalries. Instead, write a letter outlining your estate plan goals and wishes. Rather than worrying about precise legal language, you can convey your intentions in the letter. This is particularly crucial if you intend to leave a significant portion to charity, an organization, or a non-family member.
Have your lawyer compare your letter to your estate plan if you are concerned that it may confuse family members. It will ensure you have not miscommunicated anything that would conflict with your plans. This kind of letter (sometimes called an ethical will, letter of intent, or legacy letter) does not provide legal or financial advice but rather keeps family and friends informed of your intentions. As long as they understand your intentions, they will respect your wishes and appreciate your love.
Families often find it very helpful to discuss how personal property will be divided long before a parent passes away. The distribution of personal property is usually outlined in a personal property memorandum.
It is not uncommon to find unsigned memos after parents have passed away. In such cases, the trustee or executor may divide the property into equal shares among the beneficiaries. Usually, this involves hiring an appraiser, holding an estate sale, and distributing the proceeds equally.
However, families may have very different views of fairness and may prefer to divide property differently. The trustee might, for example, allow every beneficiary to select items randomly from a list. The family might decide to hold an auction where family members can bid with real money or play money divided into equal shares before the auction. Discussing the advantages of different choices can be educational as well as fun.
People often discover that they never fully understood their estate planning documents or forgot what they included. Therefore, it is very critical to review your estate planning documents frequently. You must also write your questions or concerns in your estate planning binder so that your attorney can address them as soon as possible.
Do not ignore a section of your estate planning documents if you are unsure of it. Make sure that you and your family are aware of the implications of that section by contacting your attorney. You should consult with a lawyer if your attorney is unable or unwilling to provide you with an understanding of your documents, as it can have serious implications for you and your family.
Numerous horror stories exist about well-designed estate plans that failed due to improperly titled assets (nominated under the wrong name). Be careful when titling real estate and checking accounts jointly. It is sometimes convenient for parents to add a child to their bank account. For instance, when a parent wants the child to help pay bills. However, the child would receive the entire value of the account rather than the value of the parent’s trust or will.
To ensure that your estate plan follows beneficiary designations on life insurance and retirement accounts, you should review them carefully. Parents often name their oldest child or their second spouse as the primary beneficiary of their insurance policies or retirement accounts. They assume that the trustor will distribute the benefits according to the deceased’s instructions. Sadly, this is not always the case.
According to most jurisdictions, the beneficiary designation form takes precedence over a will or trust. There are serious legal and tax implications tied to the designation. Choosing the right beneficiaries for retirement and insurance accounts requires the help of an estate planning attorney. A mistake can result in unexpected results, resulting in family conflicts for years to come.
Think about bringing your family closer by giving them money in your life rather than waiting it out. Regularly funding family vacations, a cruise, or even a family heritage tour (such as a visit to the home country) can strengthen relationships and create lasting memories for everyone. Relationships valued among family members have a much lower likelihood of conflict.
Your property is the result of a lifetime’s work, so you have a responsibility to leave it in good hands. There’s nothing more painful than your loved ones becoming angry, resentful, and frustrated over a property you own. By following a few of these suggestions, you can leave a lasting legacy. Now is the time to put in a little extra effort so you can prevent future problems.
Explore my groundbreaking video course The Anxiety Cure.