Estate planners agree that family fighting is the main threat to estate planning. Why? While existing family conflict, a lack of communication, and unrealistic expectations are typical causes of inheritance-related drama, an increase in the number of blended families that include children from prior relationships and sometimes younger spouses may be to blame as well.
So, what can you do now to prevent family tension in the future? Check out these three tips from the writers at CNBC:
1. Address family conflict directly with your estate plan. Failing to create an estate plan will only add to existing family drama. By creating a clear estate plan, you reduce the potential for disagreement among family members regarding your wishes after you pass away.
2. Inform your family ahead of time. Make sure you thoroughly explain your estate plan to your family members to help them understand not only what to expect, but why certain decisions were made.
3. Update your estate plan over time. A change in your family situation should trigger a review and potential update of your estate plan. It may also be beneficial to review and update your estate plan in response to new tax laws as well.
A little planning today can protect your family from conflict down the road.