An estate can often spark fighting within the family as well as a challenge in court. It may be possible to avoid the hurt feelings and the court challenges if the family gathers before the estate plan is created.
Estate plans are often challenged in court when family members feel they have been mistreated and a court battle seems the only way out. Giving family members the opportunity to discuss and have their views taken into consideration was recently addressed in The Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog with "Using Family Meetings to Smooth Over and Explain Estate Transitions."
The idea is a fairly simple one. You can call a family meeting, including everyone who has a potential stake in your estate plan. At the meeting you can tell them what you plan for your estate and why. By doing so you give your family the opportunity to say how they feel about your plans and to engage in dialogue about it.
If your family has the opportunity to discuss it now, it might make it less likely that they will take it to court after you pass away.
While making an estate challenge a little less likely, it may not be the answer for all families and should be discussed with an estate planning attorney.
Estate planning can be a tough topic, especially for families that don't always agree. To learn more about estate planning and how to work with your family, attend one of our free workshops.
Reference: Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog (Dec. 7, 2015) "Using Family Meetings To Smooth Over And Explain Estate Transitions."