Writing a will presents challenges for most “authors.” Planning for a time when the document’s writer will be deceased is something that no one wants to face. Even though proactive steps can provide for a stable future for descendants, facing mortality can be psychologically taxing to anyone.
Regardless of the intense emotions of the individual trying to assemble an estate plan, family members can sometimes make a bad situation worse when past feelings surface. Less than equal distribution can create disputes and discord.
Offspring at odds
Children are often the source of disputes over estates. While one child enjoys a successful career that results in significant wealth, another offspring may have chosen a different career path that did not pay as much. Parents are left to weigh the potential benefits of equal versus equitable to ensure that both children are bequeathed what they deem as fair.
Yet, even the most well-to-do offspring can still feel slighted that their inheritance paled in comparison to the sibling who chose a career path of lesser largesse. The consequences of that hostility can forever define a family legacy of lard feelings and dissension that lasts a lifetime.
Challenges within blended families
Parents who marry late in life often see two families blended into one. While emotionally rewarding, the legal entanglements of how assets are distributed can become complicated. Siblings who are not related by blood could be more likely to contest a “smaller piece of the pie,” considering the step-brother or sister to be intruders into their family unit.
Regardless of family dynamics, estate planning requires open lines of communication with children and all loved ones who will benefit from an inheritance. While some disputes are unavoidable, keeping family members united is paramount.
Legacies are at stake. Peace of mind is paramount, particularly for parents who work on maintaining a united front can be assured of harmony instead of discord between their children.