Big Firm Experience,
Personalized Service

Streamlined desk and firm's name on lobby wall

Ways to handle family conflicts during estate planning

On Behalf of | Sep 8, 2023 | Estate Planning

In a perfect world, every member of an Indiana family would enjoy life-long bonds. Unfortunately, familial relationships don’t always last. At some point in your life, unresolved family issues can become something to consider while planning your estate. However, you have a few ways to resolve these issues involving estranged family members.

Setting aside a smaller inheritance

Estate planning puts you in complete control of asset distribution. Because of that, you choose the assets each beneficiary receives. Understandably, parents can feel that adult children who were around often deserve more than those who weren’t. A possible solution is to leave more assets to close family members and less to estranged ones.

Creating a special trust

Another option for estranged family members involves setting up a trust. When establishing a trust, you control how to distribute assets to a beneficiary. People can set up trusts that distribute money to beneficiaries when they reach a certain age or under specified conditions. You could also let a beneficiary receive assets if your relationship with them mends. Naming a trustee ensures that assets remain appropriately distributed after you pass away.

Leaving them out of your estate plan

Some family-related disagreements and relationships will never mend. Sometimes, parents have no choice but to leave a child, sibling or other family member out of their will. If you leave an expected beneficiary out of your estate plan, it’s best to let this person know. If not, you risk someone under the false belief they were left out mistakenly as a beneficiary. Not informing the family about estate plan exclusions may also lead to in-fighting between beneficiaries.

Estate planning sometimes involves making tough decisions. However, due to life’s unpredictability, it’s smart to get your estate in order sooner rather than later.