If you are one of the many people in Washington State who dreads the thought of your children or other heirs going at each other after you die in the name of money or treasured family heirlooms, you are not alone. This is the last thing most people want to have happen. It is also the last thing most people would want to be directly involved in as one of the heirs. While there may be no foolproof way to prevent this in all situations, there are some steps that can be taken during the estate planning process that might reduce the chances of these conflicts from occurring.
According to CNBC, some family disputes get started because one or more beneficiaries are surprised about the way in which a particular estate is divided in the end. Proactive communication on the part of the person making the will or trust can go a long way toward setting expectations on the front end. Even if people do not like the terms of a plan, when they know about it and do not feel blindsided in their grieving moments, they may be less likely to initiate a battle about it.
A 2018 poll by TD Wealth found that many inheritance disputes today take place in families with more complex structures, such as blended families.
This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give residents in Washington State some things to consider when making their estate plans if preventing future arguments among family members is a goal for them.