Having an estate plan can provide you with peace of mind. Similarly, clarifying your final wishes prior to your death can give guidance and comfort to your surviving family members.
Because inheritance disputes can undermine your intentions, proactive and careful strategizing should guide your estate planning process.
Questions to answer
You do not need to divulge every detail of your plan. However, disclosing key aspects of your estate may increase your family’s understanding and support. Some topics you could address regarding your estate may include the following:
- Types of insurance you have
- Location of important financial documents
- Description of your will and its location
- Who holds power of attorney
- A list of your beneficiaries
- Funeral requests
You can be selective about who you choose to share such information with. Only some of the participants in your estate plan may have a direct need for specifics. Refrain from sharing confidential details with people who lack trust, responsibility and integrity.
Types of conflict
Estate disputes can arise for a multitude of reasons. According to Money Crashers, some common conflicts may arise after rejected claims from creditors, contests of a will’s validity and disagreements over an executor’s distribution tactics. If you have dependents, surviving family members may squabble over who you named as guardians. Conflicts, regardless of their origin, can create legal challenges that prolong the process of probate.
Starting your estate plan early on allows your family ample time to ask questions and get clarification. Your willingness to openly discuss your final wishes can encourage unity and give everyone the reassurance they need to follow through with your plan.