Use your estate plan to lessen the chances of family conflict

On Behalf of | May 22, 2019 | Firm News

If you feel like you are struggling when it comes to estate planning, you are not alone. Many North Carolina residents wonder what details will help them best express their end-of-life wishes and it can be difficult to even know what those wishes are.

For you, the planning process may be even more difficult because you have concerns that your family will fight over your remaining estate or that your heirs will be irresponsible with their inheritances. Fortunately, you have the opportunity to address those concerns and possibly lessen the likelihood of conflict while creating your plan.

Irresponsible heirs

You may have a loved one with a substance abuse problem or who simply spends more money than he or she earns. In either case, you may understandably worry that providing that loved one with a direct inheritance will result in irresponsible spending or feeding a detrimental habit. Luckily, you do not have to directly leave assets to this heir. Instead, you may want to consider using a trust.

A trust is a planning tool that allows you to control money and other assets even after your passing. You can set terms of the trust that indicate the funds can only be used for certain expenses, like college tuition, or you could set terms that indicate the recipient may only obtain funds periodically or at certain milestones, such as reaching a certain age.

Squabbling siblings

Though you love all of your children, you may feel as if they never learned to love one another or at least never learned to get along. As a result, you may fear that the squabbles could increase if one of them feels left out or if another sibling received a better inheritance. Unfortunately, sibling rivalry can cause a number of issues, but you can work to head off such conflict.

If you do want to distribute your assets unevenly between your children, you may want to discuss your reasons behind these decisions. By speaking to your kids about this topic, you give them the opportunity to understand your choices and allow them to ask questions if they have any.

Utilizing planning tools

A number of estate planning tools could help you express your wishes and lessen potential conflict among your family. Of course, in order to properly use those tools, you need to understand them. Working with a knowledgeable estate-planning attorney could ensure that you gain reliable information about your options and answers to your questions and concerns.