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How do you avoid inheritance disputes among your children?

Trying to decide how to distribute your assets among your children after your death can keep you awake at night.

Naturally, you want to stop disputes among siblings before the quarreling begins. It sounds complicated but with a little prior planning, you can do it.

Time to talk

Parents often take more time to create trusts and related estate-planning entities than they take to initiate family conversations about those entities. As a result, arguments may erupt among the children who inherit once the parents are gone.

Choice of trustee

Choosing a trustee takes considerable thought. You must understand what you are asking when you name your trustee. The problems among siblings may escalate if you choose one of them to fill that role. The person you select must understand the legal and financial responsibilities ahead. The more assets there are, the more complicated the responsibilities. This is why many people choose an attorney to serve as their trustee.

Separate trusts

Instead of establishing one trust for all your children, you can set up separate trusts for each child. This can curb some of the jealousy and animosity that might otherwise develop. The siblings can choose their own trustees. Another plus is that separate trusts will keep the children from knowing one another’s business.

Having frank yet loving discussions with your children will go a long way toward heading off potential disputes after you are gone.

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