There are many different ways in which estate planning can be hard, and we have covered some of these issues on this blog (such as naming beneficiaries, for example). However, the prevention of disputes is another consideration that may be especially important for you to keep in mind whether you are setting up an estate plan for the first time or are taking a second look at your will or trust. Disputes over an estate can be contentious, especially when family members are involved. Unfortunately, these disagreements can make life even more challenging for those who already have emotional pain stemming from the loss of someone they love.
Sometimes, a dispute simply cannot be avoided. However, there are different strategies that might help reduce the likelihood of such problems altogether. For example, it is a good idea to be very careful when naming an executor and make sure that you have appointed the best person for the job. Executors have a major responsibility and many problems can be prevented by having the right person in place. As we have discussed on this blog, talking to your loved ones might also be helpful since it can clear up confusion, leave room for concerns to be addressed beforehand, and give everyone a better idea of what to expect. It is also smart to ensure that your estate documents are updated as necessary.
Preventing an estate-related dispute is not always within your control, but it is nice to know that you did what you could to prevent conflict. Our wills and trusts page has more on estate plans.