Family Feuds

Is the fear of upsetting family members holding you back from completing your estate plan?  You are not alone.  Many of us worry that relatives will disagree over bequests made by will.  On the other hand, some individuals incorrectly assume that no argument will occur.  The behavior of friends and family after a death occurs can never be predicted.  A recent article in the New York Times provides a few helpful tips to prevent fighting among family members after you pass away:

  1. Have difficult conversations ahead of time.
  2. Think through the trusteeship appointment and any possible conflicts that could arise.  Consider appointing a trustee outside of your circle of friends and family.
  3. Include trustee replacement provisions in your trust if you have one.
  4. Consider separate trusts for each beneficiary.
  5. Provide ethical guidance to beneficiaries in your will.