One advantage of having an estate plan is the ability to provide clarity for your surviving family members. However, sometimes disputes might still happen despite your best efforts to prevent discord.
Disagreements over your estate may jeopardize its value, prolong probate and leave your heirs at odds. Your vigilance now could have an impact on what happens after you pass away.
Use concise, direct language
Your estate strategy and how you choose to distribute your assets are entirely up to you. The methods you use to share your wealth may include gifting money, contributing to scholarship funds, donating to charitable causes and even creating a trust fund. Who you choose to give your assets to is also your choice. Even though family members may try to influence you one way or another, you have the final say.
Across all of your estate planning documents, favor concise, direct language. Explicitly state your intentions and who will benefit from your assets. You could also consider directly informing your heirs of what they can expect to minimize confusion or discord later on.
Update your documents
A critical part of having a functional estate plan is to keep everything updated. According to CNBC, you should review your documents every few years. Unless, of course, you have a significant development in your life that requires an immediate update. Examples include marriage, divorce, births of children or grandchildren, a move across state lines or a substantial increase in your assets.
Putting thought into your strategy and disclosing your intentions might provide clarity for the people you care about. Following up on your efforts with a regular review can keep your plan working optimally for your lifestyle and goals.