Creating an estate plan and a will is an important part of managing your affairs after death. However, wills in particular have a bad reputation for stirring ire among family members.
What can you do to prevent this from happening? And why does it happen in the first place?
Why do these fights happen?
Forbes discusses the reasons that siblings sometimes fight over wills. In many cases, it is a re-emergence of old negative feelings coming back, especially if sibling rivalry used to exist between them.
In some cases, it is jealousy or misconception. Some siblings believe that their parents clearly favor the other children over them, which can cause them to act out.
What can you do to combat these misunderstandings and spats, then? In short, the best thing to do is speak to your children about your estate plan.
Having that tough conversation
No one likes talking about death or matters relating to it, especially when it comes to a loved one like a family member. However, the best way to clear up misconceptions is to be upfront and honest about the decisions you made and why you made them.
Try to come up with a specific time dedicated to having this conversation, rather than springing it on people out of nowhere. Let them know the topic upfront as well, so they have time to think about what they want to say and can prepare for a heavy and difficult talk.
This will not guarantee a complete absence of arguments and spats over your estate plan or will after your death, but it can cut the chances down.