Parents in Minnesota who are putting together estate plans usually want to have a positive impact on their children. However, many parents understandably worry that estate administration issues will cause problems for their loved ones.
Not only is probate a frustrating and complicated process, but disputes among beneficiaries, including siblings hoping to inherit from a parent’s estate, can cause real damage to family relationships and the overall value of someone’s estate. These are a few of the ways that parents can potentially minimize the conflict among their children that could develop because of their estate plan.
They can plan carefully and disclose their intentions
Unexpected estate planning terms are a leading cause of probate conflicts among family members. Particularly in scenarios where a parent wants to leave more assets for some children in the family than for others, talking openly about those choices with family members may be of the utmost importance. Those who know what someone intends to do with their property will be less likely to challenge the estate by claiming that their parents made a mistake or that their sibling who inherits more exerted undue influence on the estate. Some people will even create trusts or engage in preemptive transfers of certain assets before they die so that their choices won’t lead to sibling conflict after their death.
They can choose a personal representative thoughtfully
The executor or personal representative tasked with estate administration will have a lot of say in what happens to someone’s property after their death. Although testators often feel as though their children are the people that they can trust the most with their property, naming one of the beneficiaries as the estate to manage it could very well lead to challenges and more dispute among the children who will inherit from the estate. Choosing an outside party to manage estate administration will reduce the likelihood of conflict among family members and attempts by angry siblings to remove their brother or sister from their role as the representative of the estate.
Parents who want to avoid the negative relationship consequences estate disputes could cause for their children often need to think very carefully about how to structure their estate plans. Creating a custom plan that reflects current family dynamics is one of the most effective ways of reducing friction during probate proceedings.