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Estate planning and administration: Family discord a big problem

No matter how thorough a plan an Illinois estate owner executes before he or she dies, it is no guarantee that problems will not arise when the time comes to administer the estate. It is logical to assume, however, that a carefully executed and solid plan increases the chances that there will not be many wrinkles in the administration process. Interestingly, many financial advisers, legal counselors and elder law specialists say the biggest problem they often deal with regarding estate planning and administration is family conflict.  

A loved one’s death can have implications in many aspects of estate, such as taxes, inheritances or trusts. Family members who play key roles in the estate administration process (such as those who are named as beneficiaries, executors or legal guardians of children) may wish to discuss potential problems ahead of time so no one is caught off-guard by negative surprises when the administration process takes place. If two or more people disagree about a particular estate issue, it is better to reach out for legal support than try to handle it alone.  

Situations have occurred in Illinois and elsewhere where family conflicts have gotten so out of hand that people stop speaking to each other for weeks, months or even years. Those who successfully overcome their estate-related problems are often those who seek assistance from experienced estate planning attorneys. If a parent dies with no final will and testament in place, things can quickly become complicated.  

Illinois, like most states, has its own guidelines and regulations regarding estate planning and administration. Whether someone is an estate owner and wishes to create a plan or someone has been named in another person’s will and has questions regarding an inheritance or his or her role in the process, there is support available to help clarify such issues. Families who wish to keep stress levels as low as possible and avoid conflict will take advantage of the resources available. 

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