How to Avoid Inheritance Conflicts

“No family is perfect… we argue, we fight. We even stop talking to each other at times. But in the end, family is family…The love will always be there.” – Unknown

Many times, the death or illness of a loved one brings family members back into each other’s lives. It’s already an emotional time because of the circumstances, but we have seen how the probate process can add even more fuel to the emotions already brewing under the surface. Sometimes, unhealthy family dynamics can come to the surface and rear its ugly head.

Knowing this, it’s important to understand that no family is perfect, and that inheritance conflicts do arise from the handling of one’s estate. However, there are ways that you can mitigate possible conflicts and avoid litigation down the road:

  1. Advanced planning is key. No one likes to think ill of their family members. However, without proper advanced planning of one’s estate, inheritance conflicts will be sure to arise if the family member doesn’t have a will or other estate planning tool in place. Update your estate planning documents, and remember that it’s never too late to get it started if you haven’t yet. The fewer things are up in the air, the better it will be when it comes to the probate process. In other words, anticipate that conflict, even if you think it won’t happen to your family. Prevent conflict before it even has the chance to brew.
  2. Understand what assets are available. You’ll want to ensure that you can actually pass on what you intend to pass on, like guns, life insurance policies, or pensions. Take an inventory of the assets you have available to pass on, and make plans to make them accessible to your heirs.
  3. Discuss the details with family members. When in doubt, bring the family together to discuss what assets will go to whom. This could include the family vacation home, the family business, and more. Make sure to discuss the tangible and intangible assets.
  4. Loans and gifts. Make sure to designate what is a loan and what is a gift. Leaving either on less than clear terms is a major source of inheritance conflict among family members. Sign, date, and notarize such a document.
  5. Mediate, don’t litigate. Worst comes to worst, encourage family members to go through mediation instead of litigation. Litigation pits one party against the other in an adversarial way, which could lead to long-lasting or permanent damage between family bonds.

In a nutshell, estate planning is the answer to inheritance conflicts. Furthermore, discussing your plans and assets with a legal professional can significantly reduce the occurrence of a dispute among your family members in the future.

Contact Us

At the Legacy Planning Law Group, we work with you to bring all of the necessary documents together to ensure your legacy is as secure as it can be. We’ve seen how the probate process can tear families apart, and it is our job to help make sure it doesn’t happen to your family. Call us at (904) 880-5554 today and schedule a consultation with us!

Written by Legacy Planning Law Group

Legacy Planning Law Group is dedicated to working with individuals and families to help protect the assets they have built throughout their life, and make everything simpler for families who have lost a loved one. We help thoughtful people achieve the peace of mind that comes with planning their personal legacy and passing on family harmony.

Written by Legacy Planning Law Group

Legacy Planning Law Group is dedicated to working with individuals and families to help protect the assets they have built throughout their life, and make everything simpler for families who have lost a loved one. We help thoughtful people achieve the peace of mind that comes with planning their personal legacy and passing on family harmony.