For many people, estate planning is a chore that they put off as long as possible. This may make sense in the moment, especially for those who find the idea of estate planning stressful. Often, creating an estate plan forces us to consider our own mortality and the legacy that we hope to leave behind us when we pass away. This is not always comfortable, but the potential harm caused by failing to create an estate plan before it is too late is much greater than the discomfort of considering death.
One of the most important aspects of creating a clear, well-constructed estate plan is preventing conflict between family members when it comes time to disperse your estate. Few things have the power to tear families apart like property disputes, especially if emotions and sentiment are tied up in financial concerns. This is truly a recipe for an explosive conflict, as different family members may have very different priorities or expectations.
By creating a strong estate plan that clearly lays out your wishes, you give your loved ones an invaluable gift. The grief of losing a loved one often clouds our minds, making it difficult to think fairly and respond well to conflicts. It is foolish to assume that your family will have no problem agreeing on these matters, especially if probate assigns assets to your family members. The law follows impartial guidelines to determine which family members receive what property if you do not clearly outline your wishes, and rarely does the government understand family dynamics.
Protect the ones you love with a strong estate plan that clearly states your wishes for your legacy. Your estate plan does not have to be a dry, boring document. Instead, you can make it a joyful celebration of the things you love and the ways that you wish to share them with the most important people in your life.