The loss of a parent has many implications for surviving family members, but it is all too often the case that siblings can end up in the midst of disputes with other siblings. Dividing up the assets of an estate is not always easy, and when people do not agree on the best way to do this or the interpretation of the will, this can lead to extensive and expensive legal actions.
As a parent, you can do some proactive planning with the help of a knowledgeable lawyer to avoid these disputes, making sure that your intentions are very clear and providing a streamlined process for passing on these assets. Planning before you pass away can help to address the possibility of these challenges and can also reduce the time and money spent resolving them if there is confusion.
You can give directions for what you intend to happen by spelling things out in your will. If you intend to disinherit someone from your will, for example, or give someone a disproportionate amount, it may be beneficial to have these conversations in advance so that they are not caught off guard and frustrated enough to file a will dispute or other conflict. You can also use a trust to ensure that your property disposition plans are clearly spelled out.
A revocable trust, for example, can be used to make any changes up until the point of your death. Putting property in the joint name of a parent and a child so that the asset passes automatically is another option, but may not be the best one depending on whether or not you are able to use a trust. Set aside a time to meet with an experienced estate planning lawyer to discuss the specifics of your situation.