How To Prevent Your Children From Fighting Over Your Property

Posted on: 27 May 2015


As a parent, you don't want your children to fight over your estate. Unfortunately, will disputes or fights over inheritance are still too common. It doesn't have to be so because you can take precautions to ensure a peaceful inheritance of your estate. Here are some of the measures that can help.

Avoid Huge Surprises

Although you don't have to explain every little detail of your will to your children, it does help to avoid major surprises. For example, if you are going to leave a smaller share to one child as compared to other children, then it is best to explain this to him or her. For example, it might be that he or she is well off than his or her siblings and doesn't need the assets that much. Explaining this to him or her gently in advance may help to prevent him or her from fighting his or her siblings later on.

Don't Let a Child Help You Choose a Lawyer

Your children are likely to fight over your property if some of them feel that you are favoring one of them. Even an innocent gesture such as letting your child help you locate a reliable law firm may turn out to be not so innocent after all. Estate planning lawyers are professional, and they will not be swayed by children, even those who recommend them to others. However, your children may feel that the one who chose the lawyer can get some favors from him or her. This is another reason a child shouldn't accompany you to the lawyers office for estate planning discussions.

Update Your Will

If you write a will and then abandon it for years, then you are setting up your children for a real fight. Chances are high that you have gained and lost some assets over the years; these need to be reflected in your will. What if you don't have that imported china set that you had left your daughter? What about that convertible you bought last year—who will have it? In short, review your will and update it as often as necessary.

Whatever you do, ensure that it adheres to your state's intestacy laws. The best way to do this is to involve a family lawyer in the process. For example, if you want to disinherit a child, then you shouldn't just omit his or her name from the will because your state's laws may allow him or her to dispute the will. Instead, you should express the disinheritance clearly in your will. For more information about crafting your will, contact a firm such as LaCroix & Hand PC.