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How can I prevent my heirs from fighting over my will?

If you’re currently estate planning in Ohio, chances are you’ve thought about conflicts between your heirs. It’s a sad fact that conflict is quite common when it comes to the reading of the will, as some heirs may feel slighted or as though assets weren’t dispersed evenly. In this case, there are steps you can take to mitigate the chance of conflict occurring, as illustrated by AARP’s advice.

Disperse equal shares to heirs

Some people choose to give more of their estate to adult kids struggling financially. While you may feel as though this is the kindest option, consider how your financially responsible children might feel in this case. This can easily lead to a contested will, which will result in a protracted probate hearing. Instead, consider divvying up your assets equally to all of your children.

Clarify loans & gifts

Let’s say you loaned a significant amount of money to your child. If it hasn’t been repaid at the time of your death, you may choose to deduct the loan amount from your child’s inheritance. Make sure this is spelled out in your will, otherwise your child may dispute the share he or she receives. It’s always a good idea to explicitly state what is a loan and what is a gift to prevent issues from occurring.

Talk with your kids

A little communication can go a long way. While you’re estate planning, consider bringing your kids into the fold for a discussion. While the decision is ultimately up to you, informing your children ahead of time can ease some of their anxiety. You can also create a plan for sentimental items, such as family jewelry, which is often the source of fighting when it comes time to read the will. 

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