Wanting to get your final affairs in order is admirable. You may have a number of assets to consider, complex assets or multiple beneficiaries to take into account. Whatever your exact circumstances, estate planning can help make sure that your final wishes are known.
If you have children, you may have specific concerns about how they will handle your wishes in terms of whether they think they are fair. Unfortunately, sibling rivalry can easily cause serious probate issues when the time comes to distribute your remaining Seattle estate. On the bright side, you can make an effort to lessen the likelihood of conflict.
What can you do?
When considering your estate planning options, you may want to look closely at ones that allow you to have more control over the distribution of your property. For instance, you may want to use a trust and leave specific instructions about how and when your children can access their designated bequests. The trustee associated with the trust is obligated to follow these instructions. If you believe that your children may argue over who acts as the trustee, you may want to avoid naming any of them to the role.
Additionally, if you want to pass a specific asset on to one child and do not want the others to fight over it, you may want to consider making the intended child a co-owner of the property before your passing. Joint property with the right to survivorship passes directly to the co-owner without having to first go through probate proceedings.
What about small items?
You may have several small, sentimental items that you know your children would love to have later in life. Of course, it is not unusual for sentimental items to be the focus of serious disputes after a loved one’s passing. In efforts to avoid conflict over these assets, you may want to consider gifting certain items to your children while you are still alive. Taking such action while still living could give your children time to make personal requests and receive any needed explanations directly from you.
Wanting to help your surviving loved ones avoid conflict over your estate is understandable, especially when those loved ones are your children. If you hope to create a comprehensive and effective estate plan, you may want to ensure that you understand the best planning tools for your circumstances. Discussing the matter with an experienced attorney could be helpful.