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Reducing the likelihood of conflict over an estate plan

| Nov 2, 2018 | Estate Planning |

Some estate plans can lead to family conflict, but there are steps people in Louisiana can take to avoid this. For example, it is important to choose the right executor. Some people may simply choose the closest family member, but it is best to choose someone who is right for the job. The person should be ethical, organized and responsible. One possibility is a professional fiduciary or a corporate trustee.

People should not neglect including sentimental items. In fact, in some cases, this can cause more family conflict than assets with a high monetary value. Parents can talk to their children about what they want and include it in the will. The executor can be directed to sell any items that family members are not able to agree on. People may also want to talk to family members if assets will be distributed unevenly. This could be because one child needs money more than the other or some other reason, but if family members understand it, there is less likelihood of conflict.

It is important that people do not set up the estate plan in a way that ties up money for a long time. This could happen with a trust or if a person leaves an estate to a much younger spouse before children get it.

People may want to work with an attorney to create the estate plan and ensure that the estate plan is prepared correctly. The attorney may also be able to assist the person in creating other estate planning documents such as a power of attorney and an advance health care directive to appoint someone to handle financial matters if the person is incapacitated. The estate plan should be reviewed regularly to ensure that it remains current with tax law and with any changes in the family such as divorce, marriages, deaths and births.