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Simple things to keep your kids from fighting about your estate

As a parent, the last thing that you want is for your children to fight over your will when you die. When you pass, you want your children to be there for one another, and to lean on one another. You don't want them to be arguing over your assets and everything that you have left behind.

Lawyers get phone calls all the time from children who have recently lost their parents and are arguing over the will.

A woman in Wisconsin had an issue with her father's will and went looking for help. A week after her father was buried, the sale of the house was completed. The woman's sister was the executor of the will and let the siblings know that during their father's final days that their father signed a note leaving their other sister, who was also his caretaker and the co-executor, a substantially higher amount than the family was initially told. According to the sibling who had the job of the executor, their father changed the will at the last minute because his daughter took time out of life to be his caretaker. A check was cut for the sister before any of the other siblings were able to see any of the documents. This caused a significant issue within the family.

According to a recent report by NBC news, here are some common sense things that many people miss, which can lead to children from fighting over estate assets:  

Communication is key

As much as your children aren't going to want to talk about you passing away and your will, it is essential that you sit everyone down and talk about it together. If you sit everyone down early, you can discuss the will. If necessary, you can make changes to the will to be sure that everyone is happy.

Your personal belongings 

Unless you explicitly spell out who is to get which of your personal belongings and family heirlooms in your will, it will be up to the executor of your will who will get what. If you want to prevent issues when it comes to dividing up her assets, you should include these items in the will. This way, there will be no question of who should get what, and there will be no disagreements. 

Financial assets

If you are planning to divide your assets equally between each of your children, it makes things much less complicated. If you have a substantial estate, you should seek the help of a tax expert. When everything is complete, you should look at the full accounting of the estate, which should include the fees owed to the attorneys and accountants.

Codicil

If you make a change in your will after the original has been drawn up and signed, it would be included in a codicil. This isn't something that you can write up on your own and put away with your will. You will need to do it legally, the same way that the will was. This means that it needs to be signed by you and witnessed. It should also be presented to each of your children and all of the beneficiaries in the will for review. This will prevent any questions after your death.

Leave a letter for each of your children

Along with the will, you should leave a letter for each of your children. The letter will give you the opportunity to let each of your children understand your thinking when you wrote the will so that there will be no ill feelings. Also, it will give you a chance to remind them that family is much more important than your estate.

When you are ready to start planning your will, give The Collins Law Firm, P.C. a call. We are estate planning attorneys, and we can help you write up a will that will divide up your assets between your beneficiaries the way that you want. We can also help you to avoid the common mistakes that leave wills tied up in probate court for years, and your children and other beneficiaries being at one another's throats. To schedule a free consultation, give us a call today.

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