Residents in Florida might want to believe that their family members would not become embroiled in an all-out battle over their inheritances but that is not a safe assumption. The more effectively a person can outline their wishes in a solid estate plan, the better. On top of that, proactive communication with all potential heirs is a must.
CNBC reported on the results of a 2018 TD Wealth poll that found 44% of accountants, trust officers and attorneys to indicate that conflict among family members was the single biggest threat to any estate. Today's society may well be a contributor to this as many families involve complexities like stepmothers and stepfathers, children from multiple marriages and even a new spouse that is the same age or younger than the partner's adult children.
Many families have experienced significant conflict even before a person dies so that after death, the drama only escalates. It appears also that many people do not have realistic expectations for what they should or would inherit so that when faced with the reality, they are shocked and ready to fight. Clearly communicating to all involved the details of an estate plan may head this type of surprise off at the pass, even if it creates some short-term angst.
If you would like to learn more about how to appropriately manage your long-term plans in a way that minimizes the risk of a serious conflict between your family members, please feel free to visit the trusts and wills page of our Florida estate planning website.