Our Louisville Estate Planning Lawyer Discusses Anticipating and Avoiding Conflict Between Heirs
If you are beginning the estate planning process, a Louisville estate planning lawyer may be able to clarify some of the regulations that apply to the process in your area. Estate planning can be full of conflict and in many cases causes its share of family discord with regard to the division of assets. As unpredictable as the process can be, it is still possible to create a fair and reasonable estate plan that minimizes the potential for family conflict over the division of your assets.
While the first things many people think of when it comes to asset division are high-cost property and other financial assets, items with high emotional value play an important role in estate planning. In one study by a major life insurance provider, respondents were even more concerned with the division of family heirlooms and sentimental keepsakes than cash assets. The strong emotional attachment family members place on certain objects makes a dispute over asset division much more likely. Sentimental possessions are often more difficult to split fairly among family members than money and other valuable possessions.
One of the most effective ways to handle the estate planning process is to create a highly detailed will that leaves little open to interpretation. A Louisville estate planning lawyer may be able to help you create a will that is clear and detailed when it comes to who will inherit certain items and assets. Vague phrasing such as “personal property” and “material goods” may lead to dispute if family members differ in their interpretation of the terms. Instead, it is better to equitably divide assets and use highly specific language with regard to your wishes for asset division after your death. In addition to a will, you may also benefit from creating a trust, a power of attorney in the event of incapacitation, a health-care power attorney and a living will that clearly states your preferences for end-of-life care. These documents can help increase the likelihood that your end-of-life and asset division wishes are followed by those you leave behind.
In addition to financial assets and property, many people choose to leave an ethical will to pass down their intangible family values. An ethical will may be a simple document that details your values and wishes for your family as they continue on, or it could be as informal as a blog. Some choose to leave a letter of family values to be read along with their will.
Contact a Louisville Estate Planning Lawyer
The asset division process can be confusing and leaves many people concerned that their wishes will not be honored after death. In addition to leaving a clear will and dividing assets equitably, consulting an estate planning lawyer may help simplify the process. Contact the Patricia A. Abell Law Office today at (502) 561-3455 to speak with a Louisville estate planning lawyer who may be able to help ensure that your wishes are honored with regard to your personal property.