If you have accumulated a significant amount of wealth, you likely want to try to make sure that you leave it to your family so that they can prosper once you are gone. However, it will be difficult for your family to prosper if they are continuously fighting with each other about how much each person gets of your inheritance. They might even use up their inheritance on lawyers to sue other family members for their parts of the inheritance, which will make your generosity and foresight pointless. Here are some tips for minimizing conflict after you are gone so that you can be sure that you are leaving your family in a good position.

1. Split All Personal Property

The first thing that you need to do is figure out which of your personal possessions are going to be sentimental enough so that individual members of your family are actually going to want them. Assign these to family members individually, and do not just leave them for your family to divvy up. Any items that do not merit personal assignment should instead be sold, with the sales split among your family the way that you see fit. You could also mandate that all of your other personal effects should be donated to charity. Whatever you do, do not leave it up to your family to figure it out.

2. Stay Away From Joint Ownership

It might seem like a good idea to name your children as joint owners of certain assets, such as real estate. However, this can result in your children having responsibilities that last the entirety of their lives, which could cause more problems than it solves. Instead, move all of your real estate assets into a trust so that responsibilities that your children may or may not want to accept will be definitely a choice in the future, rather than an irrevocable burden.

3. Maintain Natural Hierarchy

The final thing that you want to do is make sure that you maintain the natural hierarchy in the family when you choose an executor of your estate. This usually means choosing the oldest child that is able to carry out the role of executor. This hierarchy will be more accepted because it has already been established.

For more information about putting your real estate into a trust, talk to an estate planning attorney like Benson Bonnie M PA. They will be able to assist you in this manner. 

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