I was speaking with a couple from Nashville recently and when I asked them their main concern, this husband and wife couple indicated that they wanted to make sure the whole process was simple for their family when they both had passed away. However, their main concern was preventing the family from fighting with each other over the inheritance. You see, this couple was worried that their three children would fight over the inheritance when they had passed away.
This husband and wife couple explained to me that they didn’t have much wealth, about $250,000 in investment accounts, about $50,000 in the bank, and a home worth about $225,000 that has been paid off. However, they wanted to keep what they had away from the government, and they didn’t want their children to fight over their inheritance.
This couple explained that two of their children were extremely successful in their careers and with their finances. However, their third child had always struggled. This third child had always worked hard and was responsible with his own finances. But, this third child had never made over $40,000 a year and lived in a very small house with his wife. Therefore, this husband and wife couple felt that this third child was the one that needed the most help after they were gone. So, what they wanted to do was to leave 50% of their assets to this third child and the remaining 50% to be split equally among the other two children.
However, this couple was worried about potential fights that could occur among their two other children when they find out that the inheritance between the three children was not equal.
I explained to this couple that there are really three common estate planning disputes that can be easily avoided, and these include:
- Fights Among the Beneficiaries Because of Unequal Distribution of Assets
- Family Members Claiming Lack of Capacity When You Signed Your Documents
- Family Members Contesting the Last Will and Testament as Invalid
I continued to discuss with this husband and wife that these three common estate planning disputes can be easily avoided with proper estate legal planning including:
- Explaining to All Three Children the Terms of their Inheritance and Why You Chose to Set Things Up in This Way
- Setting up a Revocable or Irrevocable Living Trust To Avoid Probate and Make Things Simple
- Set Up Your Estate Plan Earlier in Life To Avoid the Possibility of Family Members Contesting Your Mental Capacity
- Include a No Contest Clause – States that if the Beneficiaries Named in my Will and/or Trust Fight Over their Inheritance, they Receive Nothing
I explained to this husband and wife couple that with simple estate legal planning they can have the peace of mind that their assets will pass to their three children without the fear that the children will fight over their inheritance when they have passed away.