Losing a parent is hard, even when he or she has lived a long, full life. Emotions run high immediately after a parent dies, and life may never be quite the same again. However, for those adult children who learn that they didn't receive as much of an inheritance as their brother or sister, then other emotions can begin to crop up.
Fights over inheritance matters are nothing new. There have been movies and books that have dealt with this topic for many years. As a parent, though, there are several things you can do to minimize the in-fighting, which can save familial relationships in the future.
Consider these two estate planning tips:
Divide your estate evenly: While you might be tempted to leave differing amounts to your children because one is better off financially than another is, it's best to simply divide your estate evenly. Even a small difference in inheritances can make some people feel inferior, less recognized and less loved. By separating your estate as evenly as possible, you are doing a lot to keep your family intact.
Tell your children about your estate plans: Talking about your death with your children is certainly not a conversation anyone really wants to have. However, if your children know your plans ahead of time, it is less likely that they will fight among themselves over your decisions. You may find, however, that your children could come to you one-on-one in an attempt to get you to change your mind.
Planning how you want your assets divided upon your death is difficult. No one wants to think about their own mortality. However, taking care of these issues now will help your family be able to concentrate on the pleasant memories and not the bad ones that could come as the result of a poorly planned estate.
Source: AARP, "How to Avoid Inheritance Fights Among Your Adult Kids," Mary W. Quigley, accessed Feb. 02, 2018