Estate Planning 101

Estate Planning 101

By and large, most people aim to create estate plans that will take care of their loved ones after their death. A great deal of thought and concerns goes into estate planning to ensure this goal is met. However, even the most well-intentioned person can inadvertently craft a will that leads to more disharmony than they ever imagined. Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to minimize the chances for discord amongst family members within an estate planning document.

First and foremost, naming an effective executor goes a long way toward seeing estate wishes come to fruition. Though this may appear to be an easy decision, people often designate family and friends for the role even though the selected individual may not be the best person for the job. In such a predicament, opting for professional fiduciaries or corporate trustees to serve as the executor may prove to be the best decision.

Once the executor has been chosen, start engaging in conversations with loved ones to decide how you would like to see your estate distributed in the future. Though these sorts of talks may be difficult to undertake, they can also go a long way to avoid potential emotionally fraught squabbles over who can declare rightful claim to sentimental attachments amongst family members. Following these discussions, make a list of assets that can be regularly updated and keep it with other estate planning documents to ensure these wishes are properly conveyed and carried out.

Finally, be sure to provide an adequate explanation to any unequal bequests in your will. To do otherwise could inadvertently create a laundry list of questions for the parties who feel snubbed that they may never feel can be fully answered. If this situation applies to you, consider scheduling a meeting amongst potentially beneficiaries so as to explain the reasoning behind your bequests.