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How can I avoid inheritance disputes?

It’s not uncommon for contentious fights to break out among families when it comes to inheritance issues. However, parents leave assets to their kids to help them, not to cause strife that can be both expensive as well as emotionally trying. While you can’t always prevent fights from occurring, AARP recommends the following advice to minimize the impact of estate disputes after you’re gone.

Create an estate plan

Let your adult children in on your estate plan to anticipate any issues. It’s best to have these discussions now so you can communicate your thought process. Your kids can also air their thoughts on the matter, which may impact your decision-making process. However, remember that the decision is ultimately yours and that your children may need to deal with any disappointment they feel on their own.

Discuss ownership of sensitive items early on

When it comes to things like jewelry, monetary value isn’t always an issue. Some items may have far more sentimental value, and this can put adult children at odds when items are provided to heir over another. Bring your kids together early on to discuss how these items will be dispersed to minimize the chance of a conflict. You may be able to come to some kind of agreement that appeases everyone.

Name an executor

An executor will oversee your estate after you’re gone. Finding a person that is responsible is crucial, as there is much that goes into overseeing a will (especially if it ends up in probate). Have a discussion with your choice to ensure they’re on board and document the decision as soon as possible. Also, having a clearly defined reason for choosing an executor often prevents disagreements from occurring.

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