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Keeping the peace when writing a will

On Behalf of | Jul 14, 2022 | Wills

Estate planning is an essential task every adult should undertake. When an individual is writing their will and they have a few beneficiaries, including adult children, they would do well to understand how to keep peace in the family – especially among their children. Significant peace of mind can be gained from not having to worry about family members potentially fighting over a will.

Takes some forethought

If parents take the time to plan their wills in such a way as to avoid familial conflict, it could save a lot of feelings being hurt, costly court battles and time. There are certain things parents can do to ensure the best odds of peace ensuing after they have passed away, including the following:

  • Write instructions and include them among important documents. This can outline who should get what, and although this letter is not binding under the law, it can convey strong feelings as to the testator’s wishes.
  • Identify to whom certain items should go by tagging them. This usually applies to more personal items.
  • Give gifts while still living.
  • Have a talk about the will with all the children present.
  • Set up a revocable trust to specify how assets are to be distributed. This can be changed at any time prior to the death of the grantor.

After a parent’s death

If a parent did not have an estate plan before death, siblings do have options. For instance, they could use a mediator, especially when there are complex issues involved – such as the ownership of a family business. All siblings should be present during these mediation sessions. Siblings could also choose to liquidate assets and divide the proceeds.

There are various things testators can do when creating their estate plan to ensure the best odds of peace and harmony among their children and other beneficiaries. Getting independent advice from an experienced lawyer could be a valuable first step to take. A lawyer can carefully analyze one’s unique situation to make sure all aspects are covered when establishing a comprehensive estate plan.

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