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Tips to Avoid Estate Planning Mistakes and Reduce Family Discord

Butler Law Oct. 11, 2018

Many Myrtle Beach area residents have taken the time necessary to create an estate plan. With an estate plan, a person’s assets are distributed as they have intended, along with designating medical care and financial care to a specific person. But, there are certain things a person should keep in mind when creating their will in order to minimize family conflict.

When creating a will a person should carefully consider who they name as executor. Many times, when a child is named an executor, the other siblings may argue that the sibling is not doing their job or stealing from the estate. Rather than selecting a child to be an executor, it may be a better idea to choose a professional fiduciary. Personal property should also be included in a will. Heirs often fight over who receives the good silver, a holiday decoration, or other item that may seem insignificant but can cause major problems. A person should ask their children what items are important to them and make a list with who gets what. And if there are any unusual bequests that a person makes it can be important to explain this to the heirs. If one child is to receive more than another it is important for everyone to understand why. Or if a charity is set to receive a significant portion of the estate, the children should be told why this is important.

An estate plan is a way for a person to leave assets to the next generation. Unfortunately, sometimes heirs don’t understand why assets are distributed a certain way. When creating a will or trust, it is important for a person to understand the problems that can arise within their family and try and prepare for these problems in advance.

Family members do not always agree on how an estate should be distributed. When a person plans their will with the knowledge of common issues that can arise it can help reduce family discord. It might be helpful to discuss legal options with an experienced professional.