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Tips for preventing inheritance disputes

Estate planning forces you to reckon with what will happen once you pass away. Not only do you need to decide what happens with your assets and money, but you need to consider the interests of your heirs. Even if it seems unlikely, it is possible for your beneficiaries to fight over your estate when you are gone. A legal dispute can cost your family a lot of money and result in serious rifts. 

So while you are figuring out what is best according to your desires and financial interests, you should think about what you can do to stop your family from fighting over their inheritance. Here are some suggestions for preventing a will dispute. 

Set up a solid plan now

It is easy to procrastinate an estate plan since it involves thinking about death and working with documents. But the longer you wait, the more likely your heirs will deal with confusion. For example, if you wait until you are much older and struggling with health conditions, your family may suspect the presence of undue influence or lack of testamentary capacity. Get a comprehensive estate plan in place as soon as possible so you can provide your beneficiaries with confidence. 

Communicate the basics

You do not need to divulge every detail of your will or other estate planning documents to your heirs. But it is helpful to keep them in the loop of the general outline. Consider setting up a family meeting so you can discuss elements of the plan that impact certain people, especially your adult children. 

Update your plan

Simply creating an estate plan is not enough. You should periodically review and revise your documents to keep them in line with your wishes and family situation. If your estate plan is several years or even decades old by the time you pass away, it gives people more room to contemplate legal action.

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