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Keep family from squabbling over probate and estate litigation

We have all heard the stories about nasty family fights that involve a family member's estate. Did you know that you can use specific probate and estate litigation strategies to keep your family members from squabbling over your property? An attorney can help you develop a clear picture of your estate holdings, allowing you to effectively communicate your wishes in a way that does not invite discussion. Let's talk about how it is done.

One of the best ways to prevent your adult children from fighting over their inheritance is simply to be open and honest with them from the very beginning. Your adult children may have a misconception about the amount of money they will be getting from your estate. They may not know your wishes and preferences. Simply communicating with them can help your whole family avoid conflict.

Along with the idea of open communication, legal professionals say that it makes sense to name an executor for your estate early in the process. The executor can be one of your children - or, really, anyone you believe is qualified - but the person must be dedicated to asset protection for your estate. Managing this responsibility is no small task, so choose wisely. Naming an executor can speed the probate process.

Finally, try to divide the estate evenly. The temptation to give more to your "neediest" children may seem strong, but it is generally smart to simply allocate an equal amount to every adult child. This way, the estate can be distributed faster and with less animosity.

Parents have a legal responsibility to protect their loved ones by developing clear and concise estate plans. By making sure that your estate documents are easy to understand, you are supporting your adult children in making better decisions! Increase the likelihood that your wishes will be kept by planning ahead for your asset distribution.

Source: AARP, "How to Avoid Inheritance Fights Among Your Adult Kids," Mary W. Quigley, accessed April 13, 2017

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