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

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Estate planning can help avert family feuds

When people in Florida consider their wishes for the future, they may hope to see their loved ones living well and enjoying life, including with the support of any inheritance left behind. However, for far too many families, conflicts can arise after the passing of a loved one that lead to long-running disputes over an estate. People making plans for their property can keep several key issues in mind in order to minimize the likelihood of conflict and maximize their potential to fulfill their wishes for their estate.

One of the most critical factor in dealing successfully with an estate is choosing the right executor when making a will. Because the executor will have to deal with all of the complications and concerns that come with the probate process, it is important that the executor is someone well-suited to this skilled, detail-oriented job. In many cases, people choose an executor due to their close relationship or for an arbitrary factor like being the oldest child. However, when the executor is not careful with estate funds or fails to follow up on legal issues and deadlines, there can be significant fallout. Trust may be lost, and the conflict could even head into court.

In addition, feelings may be hurt when multiple children receive unequal bequests from their parents’ wills. There may be many reasons for these decisions, including offsetting financial support during the parents’ lifetime or providing support to someone with a disability, but explaining these decisions early on can help to avoid hurt feelings later on.

People who want to see a successful transition for their family members can help by making a clear plan for their future. An estate planning lawyer may be able to work with people to develop key documents like wills, trusts and powers of attorney that reflect their wishes accurately.