Anticipating family conflict and creating an estate plan

One of the biggest challenges for some people in Nevada who are creating an estate plan may be dealing with family dynamics. If not attended to, conflict can lead to litigation, and ultimately, a person’s wishes may not be carried out. However, there are steps that can be taken that may prevent this.

It may help to talk to family members about the estate plan so that they have a better understanding of the reasoning behind it. Some people write a “letter of intent” to be read after their death. People should try to avoid setting up an estate plan that will exacerbate tensions. For example, instead of making one adult child the trustee of a trust shared by siblings, a corporate trustee may be a better idea. These precautions can be even more important in a blended family.

Trusts can be set up to help protect people from their own bad judgment and from others. For example, a person’s money can be separate from the family money in case the person’s spouse misuses it. A person may be irresponsible with money. Distribution could be linked to certain uses, such as for purchasing a home, or it may be linked to reaching a certain age. In most cases, it is best to leave behind as much documentation as possible and be as transparent as possible.

An attorney might be able to assist a person in trust planning and other elements of estate planning. An attorney may help guide a person through both the interpersonal and the technical aspects of creating an estate plan. Errors in a will or a trust could also cause issues. For example, one common mistake people make is creating a trust but failing to fund it. Language in estate planning documents must also be accurate and unambiguous.

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