Tap to Read ➤

5 Tips for Handling the Estate of a Deceased Loved One

Modern Times Sep 25, 2019
The death of a loved one often causes hidden resentments and strife within families. Here are 5 tips to help make a passing more peaceful.
The death of a family member often brings up grudges and rivalries between family members. Some people feel slighted by their inheritance, and legal battles can take years to settle. So, while you can’t predict what issues might erupt, preparing in advance and consulting experienced wills and estate lawyers can help calm the waters and help the survivors.

Choose Your Executor Wisely

Despite what some people believe, it’s not always the eldest child who would make the best executor. Put aside any preconceived notions and choose the best person for the job. Pick someone who’s honest, organized, fair, hardworking, and who communicates. Inheritors will become less anxious if they’re kept up-to-date with the settlement of the estate.

Decide Who Gets What

Often inheritors will argue over sentimental objects far more than anything of value. Put together a list of personal items and designate what each inheritor will receive. Ask your beneficiaries what items they would like to inherit, and the executor will carry out the distribution of the personal items.

Update Your Estate Plan Regularly

Circumstances change. What your will stated a decade ago, might not be relevant today or in the future. Your estate plan should be reviewed and updated after any life changes, including births, divorces, marriages, or any other circumstantial changes. By taking an active role in your estate plan, you could also avoid future conflicts.

No Surprises

Make sure your beneficiaries know and understand your estate planning decisions in advance. It’s up to you to divide your assets, but you can avoid unnecessary hurt feelings if you explain what you’ll be giving to each inheritor and why. Not everyone has to agree with you, however, an explanation can go a long way in soothing hurt feelings.

Have a Conversation

Discussing money matters and your wishes can be difficult, however, it’s important to have that conversation with your family. After you’ve drawn up your estate plan, call a family meeting to discuss your decision and how it will impact the family and other beneficiaries. You don’t need to go into full details, however, clear communication can go a long way.
While there is no guarantee that inheritance disputes can be prevented, planning ahead, hiring an experienced wills and estate lawyer and covering your bases can alleviate many potential problems. Many of these situations can be prevented by a combination of understanding, common sense, psychology and an experienced wills and estate lawyer.