All of us would like to believe that our loved ones are not the type to fight over inheritance when we pass away, but for most people that is simply not true. Even strong, caring families with few internal conflicts can descend into who-gets-what arguments if they are motivated by financial gain or loss, or if some piece of property holds particular sentimental value.
No one wants to create conflict among the ones they love when they pass away, but more often than not, this is what may happen without a well-crafted will and estate plan that clearly outlines your wishes. If you want to avoid sparking conflict when you pass away, make sure to prepare your will and estate plan with careful attention, to keep your rights and wishes protected.
Outline your wishes clearly
A good will can prevent many inheritance conflicts simply by expressing your wishes in a clear manner. Whether your beneficiaries like the way you distribute your estate or not, the less ambiguity in your will, the fewer opportunities others have to challenge the will or misinterpret it.
A strong will also does away with any concerns that you are not mentally stable enough to express your wishes and understand the impact of your choices. This is important, because most wills require updating at some point, and the older a person is when they alter their will, the more likely that someone may suggest that this person is not of sound mind.
Consider assigning power of attorney
If you suspect that your beneficiaries may disagree over some aspects of your will or your end-of-life care, then you may want to assign power of attorney to a specific person. This individual has the ability to make decisions on your behalf, and these decisions are legally valid. If you choose a strong candidate, you can eliminate conflicts between rival parties who each believe that they have the right to speak on your behalf or make decisions for you.
You may also want to create a living will, which deals with your preferences for end-of-life care. If you are incapacitated, your loved ones may disagree on how you would want them to proceed, and these conflicts are some of the most difficult to heal. A clear living will can help avoid life-long rifts between your family members and loved ones.
Each person’s circumstances are different, and your own potential complications may require tailored solutions. With careful planning and a strong understanding of your legal options, you can keep your wishes protected and help the ones you love avoid long-term disagreements, truly honoring your life and legacy.