3 Tips For Avoiding Conflict During Probate

Estate planning is for the benefit of your family. Imagine being in the middle of a large family argument. And these are the arguments that lead to probate litigation. There are several ways in which a lack of estate planning can instigate conflict amongst the people you love the most.

  1. Disagreements over inheritance
  2. Different interpretations of your will
  3. Disagreements on how to care for you 

Get Ahead of Conflict Now

The best way to prevent any sort of conflict is to not create one. Estate planning happens throughout your life. It evolves as your life changes. New marriages, additional children, and the acquisition of assets are all reasons to alter your estate plan.

Updating your will and funding the trusts you create are ways of preparing an estate plan that leaves no room for interpretation. Though this might seem like a considerable amount of work, it’s spaced out throughout your life. And this will be done through your attorney. On your end, you only have to communicate your wishes to your lawyer. 

Choose The Right Representative

Part of creating a will is choosing a personal representative. Choose the person that will speak well in your place, the person who can help settle disputes rather than incite them.

A common mistake is to pick the person based on their role in the family. This may be the eldest son or daughter. But there’s nothing wrong with choosing your best friend, or the person who you think fits the role. 

Have a conversation with this person, sit down and have coffee, a phone call—whatever you are most comfortable with. Ask him or her if they will be your representative. If you think another family member would be upset by not being chosen, discuss this with them too. To avoid conflict in the future, you resolve what you can now.

Set The Tone

Don’t think of this as the beginning of a fight. And pass this along to your family. Ultimately, how your assets get distributed is going to be up to you. These are your final wishes. If you feel comfortable doing it—and if you feel the time is right, pull the key members of your family together. Let them know how you intend on passing your estate down. This eliminates surprise, and it allows your loved ones to hear your wishes directly. Otherwise, they will be reading them off a legal document later.  

Luis E. Barreto and Associates

If you are ready to begin or update your estate plan, contact the offices of Luis E. Barreto for a free initial consultation. We want to ensure you have a deliberate and firm plan in place. We are also prepared and eager to assist you with any probate litigation you are involved with. We can also be reached at (305) 358-1771. 

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