Estate planning in California is helpful but can create conflicts with those who are named as beneficiaries. A charitable organization that you list as a beneficiary doesn’t have the same intrinsic interest in your estate as do your children. It is easy to leave the assets you want behind to your loved ones, but it’s not always easy to appease these loved ones. You have a right to divide your assets however you see fit, yet learning what your loved ones think will make you more effective at preventing conflict.
Why talk to your heirs?
Disputes happen, but when disputes happen around what one sibling receives over another, such disputes could get dragged out in court. Consider a scenario where you leave substantial assets behind to your heirs, but they end up fighting regardless. Creating an estate plan without notifying them about what your plans are could work against everyone later on. It’s important to talk to your heirs because you want them to be honest about what they think and feel.
Impartiality is something your loved ones might be confused about if you don’t explain to them why you’ve divided your estate as you did. When you own assets, such as a business, that call for a successor to take over, you need to prep that person.
Consequences of saying nothing
Speaking with your loved ones now can encourage them to make decisions that equip them for their inheritances. Without getting others involved during your estate planning, you might encounter these issues:
- Disputes among your loved ones that get dragged out in court
- Successors who lack a clear vision regarding your expectations
- Assets that go to loved ones who have no need or desire for them
- A lack of insight on how to best plan your estate
Estate planning in California
A practical way to plan your estate when you have heirs is to get them involved. It might be difficult to find agreements at first, but informing loved ones does more good than harm in the long run. Simply get everyone together for a discussion, and be clear about why you need them there.