Keeping the Peace - Three Ways to Maintain Family Harmony When You Are Gone

Three Ways to Maintain Family Harmony and Avoid Disputes When You Are Gone

Don't leave your family to fight over the china when you are gone. When a loved one dies, it is a very emotional time. People are grieving and tensions are running high. During this time, disagreements can quickly escalate over things like who gets the wedding china, china cabinet, or mom's engagement ring. Even in the best of families, disputes arise and result in hard feelings for years to come. But with the proper planning, you can avoid family fighting. Here are three ways to take action now to protect your family from disputes later.

1. Leave Specific Provisions Regarding Your Family Heirlooms and Sentimental Personal Property. Many people now use special memoranda or provisions in their estate planning documents with the help of an estate-planning attorney in North or South Carolina to distribute their personal property. These provisions can avoid family arguments over the deceased's intent regarding who gets what. 

2. Manage expectations and don't surprise your loved ones with the provisions in your will or trust. The old stereotype about the jaw-dropping reading of the will is not accurate and is definitely not what should happen. Your family members already have expectations about who should get what. If these expectations aren't correct and have not been addressed by you before your passing, there will be problems later. Unfortunately, you can't explain your decisions when you are gone and even others can't do it for you in court due to rules about evidence.  If there is any possibility someone may be surprised, confused or hurt by the provisions in your estate planning documents, talk to him or her now while you are still with them. This will give you and your loved ones peace of mind and good memories.

3. Keep your will or trust current. Life changes quickly and estate planning is not a "one and done" event. The law also changes over the years. If you don't keep your estate planning documents up-to-date with the law and what you want after your passing, your assets may end up with the wrong person. This can be devastating to your loved ones.

Contact the Law Office of Nancy L. Roberts, PLLC today for more information about how we can help you create a clear, straightforward plan for distributing your property to your loved ones.

Take a look at our valuable estate planning book, checklist, and articles with tons of tips and helpful information. They were written by me for residents of North and South Carolina. You can request your free copy of our book by clicking on the link on this page. 

Nancy Roberts
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