Fights between heirs is an unfortunately all too common occurrence when it comes to an estate. That’s why estate planners in Florida must take steps to mitigate squabbles, which not only keeps the peace among family members but also helps avoid probate litigation. AARP offers the following advice on how to prevent estate battles after you’re gone.
Divvy up your assets equally
While some people choose to give a larger portion of their estate to some heirs, this is actually a common cause of contention. Even if a person is stable financially, the knowledge that another heir received more is likely to result in a battle. You can stop this by splitting up your estate equally among all your heirs. That way you won’t have to worry about one heir claiming disparity when another receives a greater share of your estate.
Select an executor
An executor is responsible for handling all the affairs of the estate on behalf of the deceased. If you’re choosing among adult children, make sure you have a solid reason why you’re making the choice. Maybe one of your children possesses greater knowledge of financial matters, which is very valuable when administering an estate. You can also have your other children play alternate roles to ensure no one feels left out during the process.
Call a family meeting
When all else fails, get your family together so you can explain your decision-making process. Allow your kids to make themselves heard and offer suggestions on how they would like to see the estate divvied up. Remember, the decision is ultimately yours, so don’t be swayed by. However, letting your children talk it out can be cathartic and potentially prevent fighting.