When you have more than one child, you may need to take extra time when creating your California estate plan to help ensure the decisions you make do not create conflict among your children. Inheritance disputes often take a lot of time and money. They also have the potential to cause long-term damage to the relationships your children currently share.
What might you want to do to reduce the risk of inheritance disputes arising?
Make equal distributions
Leaving one child more than the other or others is a surefire way to raise ire between or among them. You may help your children in different ways while you are around to do so, which might include giving more financial assistance to those who need it more. However, resist doing the same in your estate plan or risk your children wondering if you loved or trusted them equally.
Name an executor
Many people choose to name an adult child as an executor over their estates. If you choose to do this, try to have a valid reason for giving the duty to one son or daughter, as opposed to the others. You may want to give the executor role to someone who lives nearby, for example. You may also want to consider giving the responsibility to someone with a finance or accounting background. When you have an executor in mind, let your children know ahead of time who it is going to be and why.
When it comes to your estate plan, try to avoid surprises. The more you share with your children about what they might inherit and how you plan to do things, the better the chances of them maintaining strong, healthy relationships with their siblings.