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Stop family fighting with estate planning

May 20, 2019 | Estate Planning

In an ideal world, Florida families would come together to grieve the loss of a loved one and respectfully follow the wishes of an estate plan. Unfortunately, most people do not live in an ideal world. For those living with complicated family situations, estate planning can feel difficult or even impossible. Here are a few ways to address difficult issues through an estate plan.

Family dynamics can be complicated. Sibling rivalries between adult children are particularly problematic. A deep sense of loss after a parent’s death combined with money and inheritance on the line can exacerbate old childhood rivalries. It is a good idea for parents to discuss their plans with children ahead of time. This will give children the opportunity to discuss any concerns with their parents as well as time to process any decisions they are unhappy with.

Blended families also present unique hurdles. Children from first marriages may feel as if they were treated differently than their siblings from their parents’ second marriages, and vice versa. It can be difficult to figure out who should get what, especially in terms of items of sentimental value. Adults whose only surviving family are stepparents and step siblings may also be left wondering whether they will lose out on their inheritance. Aside from talking about it beforehand, parents in blended families often choose to include letters in their plans that further explain their reasoning.

Virtually no one wants to leave behind an estate plan that causes their loved ones to fight. Depending on family history and dynamics, fighting might even feel as if it is unavoidable. Still, that is no reason to avoid addressing the issue during estate planning. Florida residents who are aware of potential problems and address them early on may have a better chance of creating the best estate plan possible.