4 Ways to Reduce Conflict with Your St. Petersburg Estate Plan
Conflicts related to an inheritance shouldn’t come as a surprise, as it’s very common for family members to have disagreements related to who should receive what when someone passes away, or over how to take care of an ailing loved one. It’s important to take steps early on to minimize the potential for conflict down the line. Working with an experienced St. Petersburg estate planning attorney can help minimize the potential risk of some conflicts as well. Here’s a look at some other helpful tips to consider.
Discuss Your Plan with Family
There is no guarantee that people won’t change their minds after you pass away, but you can at least try to hold a family meeting before working on your estate plan. You can outline your plans and your decisions on why you are giving what to who. It also gives your beneficiaries time to ask questions now. Eliminating the element of surprise can help reduce conflict when you do pass away.
Don’t Mistakenly Assume People Will Get Along
It’s understandable that you don’t want to imagine your family bickering and not getting along when you pass away or become incapacitated, but the reality is that it happens. Major events like these are emotional, and people get scared. Some of the arguments aren’t fueled by jealousy and greed, but rather by fear.
There are countless important decisions to be made when a family member is suddenly unable to take care of themselves or passes away. Take back control and make these decisions ahead of time. You can spell out the type of medical treatment you want, even the type of funeral service you desire. The more decisions you make ahead of time, the more you can reduce the risk of issues between family members down the line.
It’s Always Best to be Proactive
You can see the recurring theme here is to plan ahead. By taking control of what is an inevitable event (your death), you can choose how the narrative plays out. Don’t leave your loved ones trying to decide on what your wishes might’ve been–spell them out early on.
Some people think starting an estate plan early on is not an option. Creating an estate plan is not just for death, but also for incapacity, which could happen a lot sooner than you expect. Imagine getting into a serious car accident that leaves you unable to take care of yourself or your finances. Having an estate plan in place can tell your family members how to proceed, and you can appoint someone to make medical and financial decisions on your behalf.
Make Sure Designations Don’t Conflict with Joint Titled Assets
Do you have any assets that are jointly titled? What about insurance policies with named beneficiaries? Make sure your beneficiaries are up to date. These policies, along with joint titled assets, will pass directly to the named beneficiaries rather than pass through probate. You want to make sure there are no conflicts in your estate plan that could cause problems. For example, you may be better off creating a financial power of attorney rather than adding someone to your bank account as a joint holder.
Contact a Florida Estate Planning Attorney Today
If you need assistance with an estate plan, or you find yourself in the middle of a contentious situation over a will and/or probate matter, contact Legacy Protection Lawyers, LLP today to schedule an initial consultation.