Three Tips to Preventing Family Conflict: Probate

You’ve just been given the news that your loved one has passed away. Nothing could have prepared you for this, and there are so many emotions running through you right now. You’re not alone in this. It’s a difficult process to go through, but with these three tips, it can be much easier for everyone involved.

In most situations, there are numerous heirs or individuals receiving their portion of the inheritance. This frequently makes the process a touchy subject. As they note, two heads are better than one, but more than that can lead to a crowd. We’re all decent people at heart; we just have different ideas about what’s right and wrong. It’s who we are as individuals that make us unique. Every heir has their own views on what should be done with the family heirlooms, which pieces of land should be sold or kept, and what they think their share is.

The greatest policy is transparency. In order to avoid any unpleasant surprises when it counts, each party must be aware of how everyone else feels about these problems; while someone may feel one thing today, that doesn’t guarantee they will want something different in the future. If everyone is informed regarding the situation and potential issues, they can be addressed in a timely manner.

The most devastating probate cases arise when families have conflict. Here are three simple strategies to avoid family conflict.

  1. Give everyone a voice-. There is no faster way to create conflict than to exile one of the heirs from decision-making. If at all feasible, hold a meeting with all of the heirs in one location so that you may give your opinions or concerns. They are less likely to feel cheated or left out if they believe they had a say in the matter.
  2. Have them Write their top importances- You may also ask each family member to write down what they want from the estate and how to clean or sell it on a piece of paper. You can then decide on the options, bid on the valuable items, and vote on them all together.
  3. What is fair isn’t always equal- Remember that equal distribution is sometimes impossible to achieve. This is why, when executors have difficulties distributing the funds equally, they are inclined to sell EVERYTHING since money is far easier to split into precisely equal shares than assets. The objective of asset disbursements is to ensure that no one person feels victorious while also ensuring that everyone leaves feeling like they received a fair share.

Good communication and trust can help you avoid family conflict! If everyone is aware of the potential problems, knows what they’ll receive, and feels like their voice was heard, then your loved one’s death won’t be as hard to bear for those left behind.

Being an appointment Executor is a great honor but also a great responsibility. Remember you have a legal obligation to act in the best interests of the estate and not your own or any one of the heirs. Along with the fiduciary duty you also have to act in the wishes of the deceased over anyone else’s wishes. We hope these three tips were of some help. 

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