A common concern many aging parents have is whether their children are going to argue or fight over the inheritances that are left to them when they are no longer around. This is precisely one of the reasons why an individual is encouraged to create a will that stipulates who gets what, when they get it, and how much of it they are entitled to receive. While a parent may not always please their children with how they choose to divide up their assets, when it is written in a will that was drawn up with the help of an Akron, OH estate planning attorney, there is a slim chance their children can contest the will. But, that doesn’t mean they are going to be satisfied with how their parent’s estate was divided.
So, what you can do to help reduce the chances of a dispute breaking out between your children after you are gone and it is time for your assets to be divided?
Consider Holding a Family Meeting
While you may feel uneasy about having a family meeting where the division of your assets will be discussed, Forbes highlighted that “transparency and communication can head off some very expensive disasters when siblings hire lawyers, spend untold sums fighting each other, and everyone loses in one way or another after your demise.” Basically, communication is key, and by having your family come together so that you can speak openly about what each person will be receiving gives you the opportunity to address any discrepancies and defend the choices you have made.
Now, Forbes also points out that while holding a family meeting may seem too difficult to do, remember, if you avoid the topic until it comes time for your will to be read, some or all of your children may be unhappy and choose to take their concerns to court. And that means some of that hard-earned money you left behind could go to lawyers and court fees. So, you have to ask yourself, is this really how I want my assets to be spent? Although probate litigation, which is when a person contests a will, doesn’t occur all the time, the point is, it does. And even if your children choose not to take legal action when they are unhappy with their inheritances, it could lead to siblings ignoring one another and spending the next few years without talking to each other.
So, if you are considering holding a family meeting where you will discuss with your family the inheritances you plan to leave behind, here are a few helpful tips:
- Consider having your Akron, OH estate planning lawyer hold the meeting at their office. You may ask them to record the meeting so that there “is no doubt about who said what and what your intentions are.”
- Be clear. Know what you want to say and be firm. Although you aren’t required to provide anyone with an explanation, it may help them to be more understanding of your decisions.
- You can have your attorney clarify to your family that there are no laws that dictate how you divide your assets and to whom they should go to. It is solely up to you.
- If you are worried that your children will bicker over inheritances, you can have your OH estate planning attorney include a clause in your will that stipulates if someone contests it, they receive nothing as a result. And at the time you conduct your meeting, have your attorney explain this so everyone is aware of it and understands just how serious it is.
It may be a good idea to have your estate planning lawyer in Akron help you conduct your family meeting so that everything is clear and your family understands the terms of your will.
By having a family meeting, you are giving yourself the chance to discuss with your children how you plan to divide up your assets and why you chose to do this. It also opens up the floor for your children to voice their thoughts and concerns.
Now, if you have a will but don’t have an estate planning lawyer to help carry out your family meeting, contact USAttorneys.com and we will connect you with an Akron, OH law firm that specializes in probate and estate planning that can provide you with the services you are looking for.