4 Estate Planning Mistakes That Cause Family Conflict

  • Estate Planning
4 estate planning mistakes that cause family conflict | estate and probate legal group

The distribution of your assets after you’re gone is one step of your estate plan. Think about what you have, what you owe, and who you want to inherit your belongings when you’re gone. You may not want your loved ones to argue after you pass away, but there are estate planning mistakes that can cause family conflict.

We will cover a few mistakes that we often see when people establish their will or trust.

Estate Planning Mistakes That Cause Family Conflict

You try your best to sit down and think about how to divide your assets evenly. But you may not realize that sometimes that the wrong wording can cause trouble among your loved ones.

4 common mistakes we see are:

  1. Not telling your children about your finances. You may believe that your debt or fortune is none of their business. But this way of thinking can leave your kids blindsided when you die. Sometimes, children assume you have life insurance, and they will receive a payout when you pass. It is okay if you want your retirement to pay your debts when you die, but preparing your kids for this will help avoid conflict after you pass away.
  2. Purposefully or inadvertly leaving everything to your spouse. Your siblings may believe that the family home that has been a part of your heritage will go to them when you pass. If you do not specify this in your will or trust, the house may go to your spouse, leaving everyone else feeling jilted.
  3. Passing the vacation home to all of your children. You may have fond memories of your vacation home and want your children to continue the summer traditions. But what if only one child wants the house, and your other kids have no attachment to the home? Or if one of your children lives so far away that it’s almost impossible for them to visit the house. It’s best to talk with the kids and see what they want to happen to the vacation home.
  4. Treating family members differently. Yes, all family members are different. Maybe you want to split your estate unevenly between the children. But doing so will only cause problems for everyone. The angry relative will probably contest your will, causing your loved ones time and money while the probate court decides how to divide your estate. If you do this, you may want to forwarn everyone ahead of time.

The leading solution to each mistake is communication. It may be uncomfortable to talk to your family about your death, but it is necessary to avoid conflict.

Talk With An Oak Brook Estate Planning Attorney

We can help you establish the estate plan that you want. We can point out what may cause conflict and how you can avoid it. Your estate plan can be a final gift to loved ones. Let the Estate & Probate Legal Group in Illinois guide you each step of the way. Contact us today at 630-864-5835.

AREAS WE SERVE: DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties.