Avoid Family Drama

Avoid Family Drama

Keep Family Drama in Check with a Detailed Estate Plan

Drama belongs in the movies, not among your loved ones. Conflict and drama concerning your estate after you pass on is especially painful for all involved. Whether you believe certain family members will likely fight over your estate or believe everyone will get along and “do what’s best,” you really don’t know for sure. The best way to mitigate family drama around inheritance, guardianships, and other arrangements is to ensure you have a comprehensive and detailed estate plan in place.

Drama thrives at the intersection of ambiguity and confusion

An experienced estate planning attorney will have the expertise and knowledge to draft an explicit and detailed estate plan that leaves no room for question as to your wishes. This doesn’t mean all bad feelings will be eliminated, but it can greatly reduce any conflict that leaves enduring ill will. It’s your decision as to how you’d like to divide up your estate. Remember, no one is entitled to an inheritance.

Some people may want to leave a greater portion of their assets to less fortunate or younger family members. Unfortunately, this may leave the more financially stable heirs resentful, even bringing old buried hurts up to stir the pot further. While dividing your estate equally between these heirs may eliminate this potential conflict, it’s not always the best or right thing to do. In this case your estate lawyer will include clear and concise details of this unequal division in the estate plan. Your attorney can help you communicate this at a family meeting. Communicating your intentions fully and exactly as they are to your heirs and with complete transparency. This sets the expectations in advance, leaving no room for bitterness and disputes when the day arrives.

Conflict avoidance strategies to discuss with your estate planning attorney

A comprehensive and effective estate plan includes more than just details about your money. Discuss your family dynamics frankly and openly with your estate planning attorney. This information will help her more accurately advise you about how to choose who you’ll appoint trusted decision makers upon your death or should you become incapacitated.

  • Never appoint someone to be in charge of your assets based on birth order, sex, or to avoid hurt feelings
  • Depending on family dynamics, problems can arise when an estate owner names multiple family members as joint trustees, executors, power of attorney
  • Consider appointing one trusted person to bear accountability for final decisions
  • If your family members already have difficulty getting along, consider appointing a qualified, neutral third party to handle financial and other decisions regarding your estate.
  • If you’re concerned about certain family members squandering their portion of the wealth, talk to your attorney about a discretionary trust.

Finally, communication from the beginning and often during your life will go a long way toward preparing your loved ones about what the estate plan calls for when the day comes. Remember, your life is far more than simply your assets. It’s a story filled with a lifetime of experiences, insights, and knowledge. You may want to include a letter or video recording to help your family understand the reasoning behind your decisions and how your life experiences influenced them.

An experienced estate planning lawyer will walk you through the process of creating a detailed estate plan that eliminates confusion or ambiguity regarding your final wishes.

Hear From Our Clients

“On the threshold of retirement, we finally decided to quit thinking we could self-prepare the requisite documents. We had previously had only a very simple will. We needed the necessary legal (including updated will) & health care docs but didn’t want to deal with the time & complication of legalese. Cindy made the process relatively painless. She took the time to explain and answer questions without trying to upsell services. We were done in 2 meetings plus the reading of emailed drafts. In addition to preparing the documents, Nelson Eldercare will be there when our adult children need advice on executing the plans we’ve put in place.So glad it’s behind us and would recommend Cindy and her helpful staff.”

- Bonnie

Cindy and her company treat their clients like family. Nelson’s offers clear, direct, and honest guidance in planning for your families security and future. No one wants to actively sit down and make these decisions, but Nelson’s makes this process seamless. I was so impressed with their willingness to answer all questions big or small. So glad I made the decision have them help my mom and dad and now me. You can’t go wrong with Nelson’s Elder Care Law.

- Hope

The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!

- Kerri

I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.

- Charlotte

Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.

- Pierce