Nobody in Washington State wants to think that their adult children, grandchildren or other relatives could someday be at each other’s throats over money. Yet, this can and does happen more often that most people would want to really know. The sadness that can accompany these fights represents the loss of many memories and hopes for the future but may be able to be avoided with the proper preplanning.
As explained by AARP, perhaps one of the most common triggers to disputes over a parent’s or other relative’s estate is an inequitable distribution of assets. In a family with two adult children, when parents leave the lion’s share of an estate to the child who declined the chance to go to college and has worked only minimum wage jobs, the sibling that has gone on to become financially successful feels virtually punished for having done well.
Even without being in need of the money, these situations touch a deeper root and may lead some people to feel less valued because of what they were given. It is as if an estate plan can put a price tag on a person’s worth or status in a family. Perhaps the most important thing for people to do is to communicate with their heirs so there are no surprises after a death.
If you would like to learn more about some of the tools and best practices used by families to protect their estates and their family bonds, please feel free to visit the preplanning for familial peace page of our Washington State estate planning website.