Individuals with large families have much to consider when it comes to the will. Dividing an estate is never a simple task — estate taxes, trusts and probate court guarantee that. People with several heirs may face even more complications once their family learns how they plan to divide the estate. Amid the grief of losing a parent, heirs may disagree with parts of the will they find insulting or unfair.
However, an individual can take certain precautions against familial infighting. Many parents turn toward transparent estate planning to provide their heirs with clear information about asset division and allow heirs to voice opinions and ask questions.
Lay out the estate plans with these guidelines
People who want to build a comprehensive estate plan that considers long-term health care, estate taxes, heirs, and property should start early. To bring heirs into the decision-making process, parents can:
- Work with a competent lawyer: Estate plans are dense collections of legal documents that include decades of finances, acquisitions and investments. An attorney familiar with Texas estate laws can design a comprehensive plan that accurately evaluates an estate, builds helpful trusts, minimizes death taxes, and strives to provide clear, legal wording to avoid probate court.
- Produce a financial overview: A financial review helps a person’s heirs understand everything they own and where to find it. This detailed list includes all assets, property, stocks, liabilities, and insurance policies. Parents can include contact information for all financial and legal professionals with knowledge about the estate, and any relevant login information for financial websites. Parents can also detail the nonfinancial items they own and their distribution.
- Meet with the family: Once individuals have their estate plan in place, they can inform their heirs via a family meeting. A meeting allows parents to engage in an open discussion with all involved parties and give them a chance to meet the executor and minimize potential skepticism. Parents can also run ideas by their heirs, fielding questions and taking suggestions if necessary.
Reach out to a lawyer for more information
Transparent estate planning can help parents head off any potential conflicts between heirs. These tactics cannot guarantee that no one will file a claim against the will, but these efforts toward transparency can make heirs feel valued and understood. Those interested in exploring these techniques can reach out to a local lawyer familiar with Texas estate planning.