Avoid estate planning errors that start family conflict

| Oct 1, 2018 | Wills |

In some cases, estate plans may trigger family feuds. That’s why Georgia estate owners who are planning for the future should take certain steps to make conflict less likely.

For example, choosing the right executor is important. People often default to the oldest child or a spouse, but they should consider who is best suited to a position that requires organizational skills and strong ethics. Some executors might fail to communicate with other family members or file the necessary paperwork. In some families, there might be accusations that the executor is stealing from others. One solution is to appoint a professional. A corporate trustee usually manages large estates while a professional fiduciary may manage a smaller one.

Conflicts often erupt over sentimental items. However, estate owners can prevent such issues by talking to loved ones about what items they want and keeping a list that designates who will get what. People should try to avoid creating estate plans that make money inaccessible for many years. This may arise from a desire to keep a young person from getting a lump sum. Instead, a trust can be created that spaces out these distributions.

To reduce the likelihood of family conflict, someone may want to work with an attorney to create an estate plan. This also gives the person who is creating the plan the opportunity to discuss goals and the specific family situation. In response, the attorney might be able to suggest options. For example, if there is a family member with special needs, a special needs trust can be created.