Report: Inheritance Causes Tension in 25 Percent of Families; Here Is How to Avoid That

There’s no such thing as a good time for a family fight, but one of the worst is after a death. In a recent Ameriprise Financial survey of 2,700 people, 25 percent said an inheritance caused disagreement or tension within the family.

Here’s how to keep the peace:

Put Your Wishes in Writing

The most important strategy for avoiding a family feud at your death is to have proper estate planning documents in place that were drafted by an estate planning attorney. A will documents your intentions with regards to your assets and appoints fiduciaries who will carry out your wishes.

Consider Family Rivalries

Don’t leave a vacation house to be divided between two brothers that don’t get along. A better approach may be to direct that the house be sold or leave it to the brother who enjoyed it the most and equalize the estate through other assets.

Play Tough

Use no-contest provisions in your documents. One common approach is to state that if anyone contests your estate plan, they lose their inheritance. An insurance policy with a named beneficiary is an effective way of making a gift to someone that is not easily challenged

Manage Expectations

Talk! Detailed discussions with your family about your plans will go a long way in creating harmony at your death. Make sure there are no surprises or disappointments.

Located in Merion Station, Pennsylvania, Sallen Law assists clients with estate planning matters throughout the Philadelphia, Main Line area including but not limited to Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County, Bucks County, Delaware County, and Chester County. Attorney Sallen is also licensed to practice in the state of NJ and serves Burlington County, Gloucester County, Camden County.