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Ways to alleviate inheritance disputes

In a time that is likely already sensitive, contention over an inheritance plan can make matters worse. A deceased loved one's arrangements may not please everyone, but there are often ways surviving family can meet in the financial middle. For Seattle residents in the midst of an inheritance dispute, some solutions may work better than others.

Needless to say, a death in the family is capable of bringing out the worst in anyone. Next Avenue lists some ways surviving family can avoid inheritance disputes, firsting acknowledging that many disagreements occur because a parent did not outline arrangements clearly to begin with. By communicating sooner than later, parents can reason with their children over the details of an estate plan, and can ultimately allow children time to process decisions. Next Avenue also recommends that parents get feedback from children during the drafting stages; doing so can help categorize items early on, and can help families untangle issues on the front end. 

The American Association of Retired Persons also gives some pointers on drafting an estate plan, the right way. While money is a driving force behind many disputes, the AARP clarifies that most disagreements use money as way of keeping score -- and maintaining power. It is easy for siblings to feel undermined when monetary quotes are not balanced. Because these situations are so common, the AARP notes that dividing financial arrangements equally among children is an ideal step. Even when the situation seems to revolve around money, an underlying factor involves power and favoritism. With that said, the AARP also suggests that parents elect on executor among children. The oldest children often handle estate planning, but this role can essentially go to anyone capable of this complex responsibility.       


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Riach Gese Jacobs, PLLC
7331 196th Street, SW
P.O. Box 1067
Lynnwood, WA 98046

Phone: 425-329-7857
Phone: 425-776-3191
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