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How to prevent conflicts over inheritances

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2021 | Probate & Estate Planning |

Because human interactions involve more than one person, there’s no way to always avoid conflict. You can, however, reduce the chances of a fallout occurring. Open and honest communication about your estate planning is necessary to minimize conflicts over inheritances in Pennsylvania.

Don’t keep it a secret

A mistake that some people make during the estate planning process is not informing their children and other family members that they aren’t leaving an inheritance behind for them. You should tell your loved ones as soon as possible so that they can adjust their financial plans knowing that you aren’t leaving money behind for them. This will properly prepare them for the future and reduce their stress and upset during grieving.

Do everything by the law

Another common mistake people make is not following an aspect of the law while signing their wills. Each state has its own rules governing this, and you should consult with a lawyer to ensure you do everything by the law. A court could invalidate your will if you do not comply with the law when executing your document, and challenges it on that basis.

Also, keep your documents safe once you sign a will and other estate planning documents. Some lawyers will agree to hold on the original documents for you. You don’t want anyone tampering with your signed documents. If someone does, it will likely cause problems after your death. The court may have to decide on how to divide the estate in that situation.

Don’t make promises

Because you never know how long you’ll live and how things will change over time, it’s best to not make promises to anyone on how you allocate your assets after death. Definitely tell them about your current plans, but let them know that it’s subject to change.

Issues relating to money are emotionally charged. Take care to set up your estate plan abiding by the law, and stay transparent with potential beneficiaries. You should inform people who expect an inheritance or other benefit from the estate what your plans are and remind them that you may modify the plan before your death. Talk to an experienced estate planning lawyer about the best practices and ideas for your particular situation.