The last thing any parent wants to think about is what life will be like for their kids once they’re gone. In a perfect world, we’d be able to stick around for our kids for the rest of their lives. However, eventually, we all have to say goodbye. Sadly, the passing of a parent can often bring out some real ugliness amongst siblings. Too often, siblings forget about their love for one another and choose instead to fight over property and inheritance money. To keep this from happening to your family when you pass, here are some tips on how to prevent inheritance drama.
Execute a Will
It’s important that you create a will and keep it up-to-date. Many people avoid creating a will because the process can be more than a bit depressing. However, writing a will is effectively creating a clear outline of how you want your assets to be divided in the event of your passing. When there’s a will in place, siblings are less likely to fight over their inheritance.
When a parent passes away there are many tough emotions that are hard to process. The pain of your departure may be funneled into jealousy or other information. If you have one child that would want to take your family sentimental jewelry or pictures and leave junk to their siblings. These sorts of issues can be easily remedied with a will. This way your kids can still feel a last nice gesture even after your passing.
Make Your Wishes Known
When adult siblings fight over assets, it’s often the result of their parents never explicitly making their posthumous wishes clear while they were still alive. Don’t be afraid to have these conversations with your kids. For example, if you think they should sell real estate you own in the event of your death, tell them. Conversely, if you wish for your home to stay in the family for generations, then express that to your kids. You may have a child that would feel selling their childhood home be a betrayal to you, but others that want to sell it and share the profit.
Remind Them That Family Is Important
Try to keep the feeling of family togetherness alive. This can be difficult when your kids become adults and have families of their own. However, it’s important that you all periodically get together as a family and spend time together. Adult kids will often fight over their parents’ money as a result of the fact that they’ve grown distant from one another. When you keep the feeling of the family alive, your kids stay connected and are less likely to fight over material possessions or money.
No parent wants to think about the sad fact that someday they’ll be gone. However, it’s important to deal with the difficult subject matter while you’re still alive. Make your wishes clear to your kids and create a will that puts these desires down on paper. Above all else, remind your kids that no amount of money is worth sacrificing family bonds.
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