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Can you prevent adult children from fighting over a will?

On Behalf of | May 18, 2020 | Probate & Estate Litigation |

No one wants to think about their loved ones or children fighting after they die. This is possible when you do not have a clear will or an estate plan. Sibling fights after a parent dies can be brutal. 

AARP has some advice on how to prevent a will contest. 

Have an estate plan 

First and foremost, you need an estate plan. You need to have everything in writing. If you do not lay your wishes out plainly, then there will be room for your loved ones to fight over it. You should design your estate plan in a way that discourages fighting. For instance, do not try to divide an indivisible asset like your home in hopes that your children will come together. Odds are, this will only create hostility. Instead, you can leave the house to one child and offer the others equal assets or you can plan to sell the home and the share split between children. In this case, one child can choose to buy the others out. 

Request a family meeting 

A family meeting is one of the most important components. Surprises often lead to fights, especially during highly emotional events. If you sit your family down, you can discuss your decisions. If you left more assets to one child or delegated the responsibilities to another, you should explain why. You do not have to give the responsibility of being your executor to your oldest but instead you can give that role to the most responsible. If you left assets for your grandchildren, explain those aspects too. You want your family to understand your reasoning and to prevent hostility between them when it comes to respecting your wishes.