The last thing you want is for your loved ones to argue over your belongings after you’re gone. Despite the best intentions, sometimes even the most meticulously planned estates are a source of bitter conflict and unnecessary disagreement. The best way to minimize inheritance conflict is to do some careful planning to make sure everyone is on the same page.
As you begin the process, think about the role each person you’re going to include will play. Even if it’s minor, by making these designations you’ll decrease the chances of sowing discord when it’s time to divvy up your assets. Your heirs will have a sense of ownership, which will increase the chances of harmony.
As you’re drawing up your will, try to bring others into the conversation. Start a discussion in which you share your plans with your loved ones. Try to get an idea about how they feel about your plans. If you note some tension, especially between two members of your family, try to find out its origin. You don’t need to go into detail about who will receive what, but having a discussion out in the open about what will happen with your belongings may help clear up any conflict that could otherwise complicate the situation later.
When it comes to inheritance, conflict can arise around items you’d least expect. Talk to the people in your life about which objects mean the most to them. Usually, these items have more sentimental than monetary value. This can also be a great opportunity to reminisce about the past, relive happy memories, and laugh about incidents that occurred many years ago.
Finally, be sure to have your wishes documented appropriately, and update these documents from time to time, especially when a change has occurred due to marriage, divorce, death, or birth. Ensuring your documents are clear and legitimate is the best way to reduce the possibility of disagreement. If you’re concerned about the potential for conflict, address these issues while you can with the people you care about. By heading off potential conflicts, you ensure harmony among the people you care about most.
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