How can I keep my children from fighting over my estate?
In Colorado, it is not uncommon for the adult children of a recently deceased loved one to bicker, fight and act negatively towards each other over inheritance disputes. While you are creating your estate plans, one question that may be on your mind is how you can keep your adult children from fighting over your estate? According to A Place for Mom, your children should work on being supportive towards each other instead of bickering and fighting over estate affairs. Their disagreements will only add to any confusion and uncertainty that may be going on.
If you plan on leaving behind a last will and testament, you may want to consider choosing a third party to manage your estate. A third party has no personal ties or interests in your estate or to your children and can minimize the amount of animosity and tension that may arise. If you decide to name one of your children as the executor, you should be very specific about what they can and cannot do and include a clause that requires the unanimous vote of your other children before any decisions or actions can be made regarding your estate.
If you have the opportunity to do so, arrange several meetings with your children before you die to discuss your final wishes. You may have certain reasons for leaving one child a larger portion of your estate instead of another. For example, if your youngest child has put his or her own life on hold to care for you throughout your illness before you die, you may want to gift them with more of an inheritance as a form of appreciation and to help make up for any income they may have missed out on while they were caring for you. Talking with your children about your estate plans and their inheritance before you die can prevent negative feelings, jealousy and conflict from brewing.
It is possible for sibling conflicts to still occur after you have taken the above actions. However, your children will have a better understanding of your final wishes and be in a better position to resolve any potential conflicts themselves amicably.