Fights over inheritance have the potential to tear families apart. However, having a solid Washington estate plan in place may help you prevent these conflicts before they arise. Often, inheritance fights arise because adult children feel shortchanged or as if someone else lied to them. So, figuring out a plan and sticking to it may help your children maintain a united front after your passing.
What might you want to do to lower the chances of your children getting embroiled in a potentially costly and contentious inheritance battle?
Have a valid reason for choosing a personal representative
If you decide to name one child your personal representative over the others, let them all know why and how you arrived at the decision. Maybe you picked that child because he or she is local and the others are not, or maybe you chose one over another due to him or her having a financial background or other relevant skills.
Resist the urge to make unequal distributions
A high percentage of inheritance battles arise because adult children receive differing amounts from a parent. If you are fearful of leaving a particular child a large sum due to say, substance abuse or gambling issues, you may be able to use trusts or other estate planning tools to leave assets behind on a conditional basis.
Ultimately, you may find that it goes a long way at reducing inheritance conflicts to not only plan ahead but make your children aware of your plans. The clearer a picture they have about what to expect after your death, the lower the chances of a conflict arising.