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Can estate planning prevent fights after my death?

On Behalf of | Oct 2, 2018 | Estate Planning

An estate plan is supposed to make things easier for family members dealing with a loved one’s death. Well-crafted wills and carefully planned trusts can do just that, but some people fail to take the careful approach that will yield these kinds of results. Lake Charles residents can minimize the chance of in-family fighting by approaching estate planning with an objective and cautious eye to detail. 

Items of sentimental value may not be worth much money, but they can easily become points of contention between heirs. Rather than expect that future heirs will divvy out certain items among themselves without arguing, individuals should consider including a list of their personal property — even the low-value, sentimental objects — and designating who gets what. Leaving a note explaining why a certain heir received a certain asset is a good idea, but discussing the matter in-person before death is even better. 

Even the best laid estate plan is not immune from improper handling, though, so selecting the right executor is essential. Rather than defaulting this position to the surviving spouse, eldest child or oldest friend, individuals should carefully consider who would be the best fit for the role. Making a careless choice for executor could leave an estate mismanaged or cause heirs to suspect improper handling, so this is not something to be treated lightly. In some cases, hiring an outside executor can even be a good decision. 

Leaving things up to chance rarely produces desirable results, and estate planning is no different. People in Lake Charles can effectively reduce the chances of fighting after their death by taking a meaningful approach to their estate plan. This is true whether updating their plan or crafting their very first will.