Though siblings may face a parent’s death as a family, each person will mourn differently. Some people take control to help guide the family through the inheritance process. Others may lash out at loved ones when overcome by grief.
However a family gets through this tough time, parents likely hope for them to do it together. Parents who draft their wills and estate plan transparently with their heirs can reduce family conflict.
3 steps to transparent estate planning
Transparent estate planning includes an estate’s heirs in the process. When heirs understand the decision-making behind estate planning decisions, they are less likely to make claims against the will and introduce conflict within the family. Following these three steps can help parents design an estate plan that satisfies everyone:
- Hire the right attorney: An estate plan contains many legal documents, including life insurance paperwork, property deeds, loans, debts, tax records, etc. Parents who hire an attorney capable of understanding Illinois estate laws will have more success designing estate plans that work.
- Create a financial overview: A financial overview simplifies the inheritance process by providing a clear list of assets and intentions. List out all assets and their beneficiaries, including contact information for legal and accounting professionals familiar with the estate, list login information for relevant accounts, and list family heirlooms intended for distribution.
- Hold a family meeting: The final step is to inform the family. A family meeting allows parents to outline their intentions in front of their loved ones. Parents can field questions and even introduce the estate executor to reduce skepticism. A meeting with heirs offers them a chance to have parents hear their wishes and adjust if necessary.
A lawyer can help guide the inheritance process
Parents who want to explore transparent estate planning can reach out to a local lawyer familiar with Illinois estate laws. An attorney can serve as the estate executor, draft a will and work with the probate courts.