Your children may need to lean on one another more than ever once you are gone, but if you are not careful, you run the risk of your New York estate plan – or lack thereof – creating conflicts among your kids. Inheritance battles are often expensive and time-consuming. They also have the potential to alter interfamilial relationships forever.
According to AARP, there are things you might do to make it less likely that your children find themselves embroiled in inheritance disputes with one another. If reducing inheritance conflict is among your estate planning goals, consider doing the following.
Be clear about your wishes
When working on your estate plan, be as clear as possible and make sure to put everything in writing. The clearer you are about your wishes and how you wish to divide your assets, the lower the chances are of any of your children finding your preferences open to interpretation.
Give all children the same amount
An easy way to create conflicts among your children is to give one more than the others. Whenever possible, find ways to make sure your children inherit the same amount. For example, if you leave one child the summer house, leave the other the value of the property in cash.
If you are considering making unequal distributions because one of your children is too young or too irresponsible to access a large sum of money at once, consider creating a trust. You may make certain stipulations when doing so, such as allowing your child to access it once he or she reaches a certain age, achieves long-term sobriety or what have you.
You may find that it serves you well to give your kids a general idea of how much they might inherit. This helps eliminate any unrealistic notions about how much each child stands to get after your death.