Estate planning helps you to ensure your loved ones have everything they need after your death, but inheritance disputes can tie up assets for years and break families apart.
To reduce the likelihood of such disputes, consider these tips while making end-of-life decisions.
Begin planning sooner
According to CNBC, only about 45% of people over the age of 55 have a will, and that number drops considerably for people below that age group.
Often, people neglect estate planning because they still feel young and healthy, but an unexpected illness or accident could leave them unable to make these important decisions, leading to flawed documents that are easily opposed.
If you have put off making end-of-life decisions, consider doing so now while you are healthy.
Update your plan
After you prepare your estate plan, you should regularly update it to account for changes in your life and financial circumstances. Neglecting to do so could leave your loved ones vulnerable to messy disputes, particularly if there are assets unaccounted for.
Consider a trust
A trust is an arrangement in which you transfer assets to a trustee to manage for your benefit. After your death, the trustee distributes the assets to your beneficiaries based on the provisions you detailed in the trust document. This arrangement can help to ensure a speedy resolution and may allow your beneficiaries to avoid probate altogether.
If you worry that your estate plans are still open to challenges, an expert can help you identify other ways to prevent inheritance disputes.