Money can't buy happiness. Happiness can't buy money either. A little planning can prevent conflicts. Consider whether to make every beneficiary equal, or distribute by level of need. Consider essentials like housing assistance, college, medical emergencies, and long term medical care. Leave the excess to your favorite charity, cause, or church. Be sure to keep the remainder in trust to remain protected from divorce, lawsuits, or other legal conflict.
How to Avoid Family Conflicts
Little things can cause huge family fights and even lawsuits.
One example was a woman whose three adult children bickered over a small blue ceramic bowl their grandmother used to serve them cereal when they were young. After she died, all three of them wanted it. The fight was so intense that their mother (still living) took possession of the small bowl and is threatening to bury it where no one can find it before she dies.
Crazy enough, this and many other stories are available from most estate planners and in the news. The biggest family feuds are often fueled by minor disagreements of the past, childhood memories, or sentiment rather than money. The velvet couch or the mismatched silverware can quickly become an argument among siblings and other relatives.
Survey the Beneficiaries
Start by having an open discussion with each potential beneficiary about items they value. If there is no competition for a specific item within the family, specifically leave it to the one who wants it.
If you have just a few valuable possessions to split among many, consider having your executor sell them off and split the proceeds equally. Or, if one person wants the valuable, have them purchase it from the estate at fair market value.
Mediators or Privacy
If you canít stand to go through arguments you know will happen after you are gone, consider appointing an impartial third party to referee or divide the assets equally among heirs. You could privately divide the estate, then make distributions.
The goal of this website and our skills in asset protection is to assist families and children. We are not an avenue to assist you in avoiding ex-spouse or child support obligations. Fairness and happiness are the goals.
The Private Asset Trust
An estate planner can use a Private Asset Trust with your selected benefits.