How To Minimize Potential For Problems When Planning and Writing a Will

By Subodh / March 9, 2014

It’s a hard call sometimes. You want to give to your children. You want the people you love to have the best shot at life possible. And to ease their suffering should you go early. But you also recognize that the people you love are only human.

And when it comes to writing out a will, you want to protect your family from the downsides of money as much as you want to see them benefit from it.

Questioning the Value of an Inheritance

Sitting down to think about your own death and putting together a will can be intimidating as it is. But on top of your own emotions, you may have some serious concerns about handing a financial windfall to someone you love.

Will they use it the right way? Will it spoil them – rob them of the value of working hard for money. What if they blow it all or do something with it that goes against your own values?

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Addressing Concerns About the Proper Use of an Inheritance

Ignoring the issue won’t make it go away. In fact, not taking on the challenge of setting up your will makes problems far more likely and places a huge burden on your family in the case of your early death.

Here are some tips to making sure an inheritance is used according to your wishes:

  • Don’t Shirk the Responsibility – It can be tempting to “be done with” the responsibility of setting up an inheritance by simply telling your lawyer who you want to get what and then moving on. But that’s a recipe for disaster. Ensuring things go smoothly requires a far more hands-on approach. Thankfully, your attorney should be able to offer advice on a more engaged process.
  • Know the Pitfalls – Every family is unique. Similarly, you are unique and have your own values and concerns about your will. Sit down and identify where the biggest potential for misuse of funds exists, according to the personalities involved, and where your greatest fears lie. Only by determining these potential pitfalls can you, your attorney, and anyone else involved come up with a plan that suits your best interests.
  • Clarify Your Values – Usually, when an inheritance goes wrong, it’s due to ignorance about your wishes or a lack of certainty. If there is no question about what you believe in, or what your family stands together for, they’ll most likely follow through in remembrance of your relationship.

The first step is figuring it out for yourself. The next step can be found in the following point.

  • Communicate – It is common for the parents to set up a will alone and leave the heirs out of it;however, communication can go a long way towards establishing what you want. Find a way to express your wishes to your heirs, whether through a family meeting, involving them in the process, a video or letter to be opened after your passing, or a heartfelt one-on-one discussion.
  • Sibling Rivalries – Nobody likes to think it could happen to their family, but sometimes it does. Two siblings or other relatives that don’t get along or even begin to fight over money. As always, communication is the key. If both parties are clear on exactly what you wanted, they will often at least ignore the tension to honor your wishes.
  • Let it Go – Nothing in life is certain; if it was, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. The key to a successful will is finding ways to make the positive outcomes as likely as possible and do everything you can to circumvent the chance of something going awry.

Once you’ve done that, you have no choice but to let it go and try not to worry.

The True Meaning Behind the Settling of An Estate

Sometimes it feels like our society is all about money, and this can be a frustrating thought when it comes to the intersection of death and finances. But money is just a medium for exchanging things that humans value.

It is in our nature to push our children and grandchildren towards a better future. Everyone wants to leave a legacy behind. That’s what this is really all about.

And a will is about executing your values as you leave the world. About not only giving your family the means to do something you believe in but putting checks and balances in place to make that outcome as likely as possible. That’s what a good attorney will realize.

Keep this in mind when you write out your will, and you’ll be on the right track.