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How to prevent your children from disputing your estate

On Behalf of | Oct 1, 2020 | Estate Planning

It’s likely that you already have a good idea of how you would like your estate to be distributed at the end of your lifetime. If you have a complex family that includes stepchildren or estranged children, you may not intend to distribute your estate equally among your children, or you may intend to completely disinherit a child from your estate.

Your wishes should be respected no matter what. However, if you do not competently plan your estate, you may run the risk of a dispute being had among your children. One child may try to argue, for example, that you were subject to undue influence, and that you only disinherited a child because you were under intense pressure from another person to do so. In order to have peace of mind and the confidence that your estate will not be disputed at the end of your lifetime, consider doing the following.

Talk to all of your children about your estate plan

One of the main reasons that estate disputes come about is because a child is surprised by the contents of the will. Therefore, make sure that all of your children know and understand your wishes. This way, there will be a lower likelihood of a dispute coming about.

Unless you have a good reason not to, try to distribute your assets equally among your children

Unless you intend to disinherit a child or if there is a good reason for one child to inherit more, you should split assets equally in percentage terms. This will confirm that you loved all of your children equally.

Make sure that trusts have staggered distributions

If you are setting up trusts for your children, distribute them at staggered dates, for example when your child turns 25, 30 and 35.

If you are currently planning your estate in Tennessee and you are concerned about the possibility of a dispute, make sure that you understand all strategies for prevention.