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Can your will planning prevent a family dispute?

Like many parents, you hope that your loved ones will remember you fondly after your death, instead of arguing over their inheritance. Unfortunately, funeral services are often followed by fights for many families in Texas and elsewhere. Your children may not be close, or emotions might be running high after your death, which can cause stress and contention. You will want to help your family members avoid a dispute after your death.

It may be uncomfortable to approach the subject of your mortality, but this kind of estate planning is important for adults of all ages. As AARP explains, will disputes among family members occur more often than you might think. The following tips could help preserve harmony among your loved ones:

  • Be conscientious when selecting the executor of your will. This is usually a family member – often an eldest child – whom you can trust to make wise financial decisions and honor your wishes.
  • If you are afraid a relative might enter your home and take items without permission, have your locks changed and give a key to your executor or put it in a safe deposit box.
  • Hold a family meeting to discuss how to divide your treasured possessions and heirlooms. This can encourage your loved ones to civilly name items they would like, rather than argue over them later.
  • Be clear and specific with each point in your will, so there is little room for dispute.
  • Think about giving away some things while you are alive. This option gives you the benefit of seeing your loved ones enjoy them.
  • Be sure to update your will with any significant change in your family or financial circumstances.

After you take care of your estate planning, you may have the peace of mind knowing that you did your best to avoid a dispute creating a rift in your family.

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