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Preventing family arguments with an estate plan

It's common for a family to enter into a fight upon the death of the father or mother, or both. This often occurs when there is no estate plan in place or when the estate plan is not effective. Family fighting after the death of a loved one is never easy. Most fights are over the inheritance left behind to the adult children because they feel it's not fair. Here's how you can use an estate plan to avoid fighting.

Pick someone to be the executor of your estate. Most people choose one of their adult children. If there are multiple children, this can be a difficult choice. Many will simply choose the oldest child or the one who lives the closest. Others will choose a child who has business or legal experience.

When you create the estate plan or edit it, be sure to explain your decisions to your adult children. Keeping them in the loop will make it easier for them to understand your decisions and should help prevent any fighting upon your death.

Plan for every piece of jewelry you have. One child might want your wedding ring. Another might want your watch. Make sure you ask the children what they want or what they admire the most and plan for it in the estate documents.

Provide each child with an equal share of your estate. You shouldn't give one child more than another for any reason.

Even the best of estate plans might not be able to prevent fighting among your family members upon your death. Despite this, it's still important to have an estate plan in place to protect yourself and your loved ones in the time of death.

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