Law Office of Amy B. Van Fossen, P.A. - Elder Law

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Avoid family fights with proper estate planning

There are many ways in which Florida residents may inadvertently cause a fight between family members after they pass. However, there are several steps that they can take to keep family discord to a minimum. For instance, they can be sure to appoint an executor who is ethical and organized. Typically, an individual will appoint a good friend or their oldest child to serve as executor.

If a beneficiary is getting a large sum of money, it should be allocated in a manageable way. Instead of directly giving that person the money, an estate owner could put the funds in a trust. From there, it should be distributed in a reasonable amount of time.

Children may not necessarily receive an equal inheritance. If this is the case, parents should explain why one child got a certain asset while the others got something else. A conversation is especially important when one child receives an asset that is more valuable than what the others receive. However, it is important that the children understand and accept a parent’s decision even if they don’t like it. Generally speaking, clearing the air now could prevent siblings from fighting with each other later.

By taking the estate planning process seriously, it can be possible to avoid family disputes after a person passes. An attorney may help to ensure that documents are created properly. This will reduce the chances of a legal challenge in the future. Individuals may also benefit from having regular conversations with family members about their estate plans. If necessary, an attorney may act as the executor of an estate. This person may best serve as a neutral and objective representative.