Long-standing childhood feuds tend to resurface when a parent or other relative passes away and the adult children have to accept who gets what regarding inheritance. Inheritance can be a touchy subject even for families that have always gotten along in the past. The stress and grief of a loved one dying can cause siblings to bicker and family friends to be ostracized. There are certainly instances of a nurse, caretaker, or new best friend swooping in during an elderly person’s final months and somehow making off with all of the inheritance, leaving the decedent’s family with nothing. However, instances such as these are rare compared with in-fighting between family members, according to U.S. News & World Report. There are a few good ideas that you may wish to use when it comes to avoiding future conflict over your will.
Communicate With Your Heirs
Studies report that less than a third of parents talk about their estate plans with their children, as reported by Forbes. Talking with your heirs about your decisions is the best way to keep problems from arising after you are gone, when no full explanation can be given for your decisions. You have your reasons for bequeathing certain assets or property to whom you wish, but your heirs may not understand these reasons unless you explain. There is no reason that your heirs should be kept in the dark about what they are going to receive when you pass away. Of families that reported no disputes regarding inheritance, 63 percent had advance notice of the decedent’s decisions and, if you discuss your estate plan with your children and you find that your reasoning was somehow flawed or that heirs does not want or need what you are planning to leave them, you will have time to change your estate plan if that is what you wish to do.
Creating a No Contest Clause
If you are worried that a dispute will arise and your will may be challenged in probate court, one option is to create a no contest clause. A no contest clause states that if the heir challenges the will, they lose all of their inheritance. However, if you leave a family member out of a will, which is called disinheriting them, a no contest clause will do no good, because s/he has nothing to lose by contesting the will.
Call Maryland Estate Planning Attorney Tara K. Frame
There are many reasons why it is best to work with an attorney to come up with a solution for avoiding inheritance disputes. We can help create an estate plan that will resist challenges and ensure that heirs receive their inheritance according your wishes. Call the Pasadena estate planning attorneys at Frame & Frame today at 410-255-0373 to get started.