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Reduce the chance of disputes over your estate plan

Your estate plan is something that you hope will quell any fighting and arguing among your family members after you pass away. There are some ways that you can make it less likely that fighting will happen when you aren't around to try to referee things.

When you create an estate plan, you need to think carefully about how you are going to get everything set up. Once you do that, communication becomes the focal point. Together, being able to have everything in writing and letting everyone know what to expect, you may be able to help your family members move on.

Write out the details

When you are creating the estate plan, you have to be as detailed as you can. This won't necessarily stop them from being upset with the distribution but it should prevent them from having disagreements about what you meant by certain parts of your plan. Even if you think something should be clear, take the time to put it in terms that you know won't leave room for misconstruing.

Think about monetary and sentimental value

As you divide things up, you might start to think about things in monetary value or the sentimental value they hold. While this is understandable, you have to find the balance between the two. It might not be easy, but think of each child's likes and what they enjoy to figure out who should get what.

Talk to your adult children

If your children are adults, you can talk to them about your estate plan. This gives you a chance to let them know about the contents, and is a time for them to ask you any questions. By providing clarification and discussing reasoning now, you can give them the information that allows them to understand the estate plan when the time comes. If you aren't sure about how to divide some of your assets, you can talk to them to see if they have any input.

Remember, most components of an estate can be changed after they are established. With this in mind, make sure that you review the plan periodically. A good rule to follow is checking it over annually or when you have a major change in your circumstances, such as the birth of a grandbaby or the acquisition of new assets.

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