Like many Detroit residents, when you plan what will happen to your assets after your death, you are probably hoping to prevent your loved ones arguing over who gets what. The loss of a family member is always a difficult situation, and it may bring out the worst in some. When your children, grandchildren and siblings disagree over who should get which beloved family heirlooms, it could result in ongoing resentment and even permanent family rifts.

Of course, you would never want this to happen to your loved ones after you are gone, so you are meticulous in creating a will that clearly specifies who should become the new owners of your possessions after you pass on. However, according to U.S. News, wills often fail to prevent the type of arguments you are hoping to avoid. In fact, there is not much that can be done to enforce the terms of your will outside of probate court, if your loved ones disagree with your wishes. Having an estate disputed is rarely in any family’s best interests, since probate litigation is often time-consuming and is not private.

If your will can be so easily disputed or ignored, what can you do to keep your beneficiaries in harmony? Instead of writing a will, you might consider a revocable trust. As opposed to wills, the terms of a trust are private and your wishes will be carried out by a trustee. Therefore, you could designate each of your family members to receive a portion of your assets after your death in a trust, and avoid your family fighting in probate court.

Wills, trusts and other estate planning matters are often complex and require the personalized assistance of an estate planning attorney. Therefore, this information should not be considered legal advice.