How can I prevent conflicts between my heirs?

When creating an estate plan, it’s natural that you want to leave a portion of your assets to your children to ensure they’re taken care of financially. Conflicts may easily arise in this case, which can put your family bonds and estate in jeopardy. While you can’t always prevent your heirs contesting your estate plan, AARP explains how you can potentially stop a conflict before it occurs.

Have a family meeting

While estate planning decisions are ultimately yours to make alone, informing your kids beforehand is usually a good tact to take. That way there won’t be any surprises when the will is read, and you’ll be privy to your kids’ real feelings up front. You can also provide information on topics that concern them, such as funding for a grandchild’s college education.

Choose an executor

Your executor will handle any issues with your estate after you’re gone. If you’re choosing one of your kids, try to have a reason to communicate to others. Perhaps one of your children has the experience to handle estate administration or maybe you feel your oldest child is the most responsible of the bunch. Whatever reasoning you choose, letting your other kids know exactly why may alleviate some tension. You can also bring them into the fold in some other way so they feel involved.

Keep sentimental items in mind

Some items, such as family jewelry, may have more sentimental worth than monetary value. In this case, you must approach your heirs thoughtfully about who is getting what. You might even consider involving them in the process, so they can feel more empowered. If there are several pieces, you may be able to spread them out among your family in a way that’s satisfying for all involved.