When you prepare a will or trust, your main goal is to leave something behind for loved ones. However, the division and distribution of a parent’s estate can sometimes generate conflict among siblings. If you’re worried about your adult children and want to foster peace after your passing, take advantage of these tips when meeting with an estate attorney.
How to Prevent Sibling Tension During Estate Planning
1. Get an Early Start
Even if you're in perfect health, it's smart to involve your family when completing the estate planning process. If your children are adults, sit them down and let them know what your plans are. For example, if you want to leave the car to your son and the family store to your daughter, hearing the news straight from your mouth will decrease the risk of conflicts later on, as your intentions will be clear. If they have any resentment about your choices, they can express it now, and you can make changes to the will or trust if you agree.
2. Prevent a Hierarchy
When there's a significant age difference between siblings, some parents choose to leave the older son or daughter in charge of the younger child's inheritance. However, once you pass, this could leave the younger sibling feeling powerless. Instead, establish a trust and set rules for when each child receives their inheritance, based on their age.
3. Appoint a Third-Party Executor
When you pass away, an executor will be in charge of settling your estate, paying off any remaining creditors, taking care of taxes, and overseeing the distribution of assets. Their job is to stay true to the wishes you laid out in your will and other estate planning documents.
If you have multiple children, avoid choosing one of them to fulfill this role. In fact, it's smartest to select a third-party professional with no connection to your family. This way, your children don't feel like any of them are influencing the distribution of assets based on their best interests.
To learn more about preparing your will or trust, reach out to Stephen B. Kaufman, P.C. This Bronx, NY, estate attorney offers unparalleled guidance for those who want to leave legacies behind. He has over 40 years of experience providing legal services and promises to return all his clients’ calls within 24 hours. To learn more about this trusted estate attorney, visit their website. You can also call (718) 822-0500 to schedule a consultation.