As you start to craft your estate plan in California, you should anticipate potential arguments from your beneficiaries. No matter how well your loved ones get along, there is nothing like the contents of a will to bring out the worst in people.
AARP has anticipated a few things that can go wrong and what you can do to keep the peace. Bear these tips in mind as you go about planning your estate.
Share the contents with your family
It can be hard to talk about your death with your family, but it is a conversation that needs to be had. When you do open up the discussion, let your beneficiaries know what they can expect to receive. That way, everyone can ask questions and gain clarity, which can prevent future arguments and general confusion.
Choose an executor
Someone will need to carry out the wishes of your will, and that someone is your executor. This person needs to be responsible and dependable and know when to rely on the help of a financial or legal professional. When you choose an executor, let that person know she or he is your executor; such news should not be a surprise.
Split things as evenly as possible
As you decide who gets what, try to divide your estate equally among your beneficiaries. If you give someone more or less, let that person know why. You can do this privately, if doing so makes the task easier.
Is a portion of your estate a loan to repay, or a gift to enjoy? Sometimes, the money given should go back into the estate. Let family and friends know one way or the other.
This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.