Many of us fail to plan for the inevitable end of our life, no matter how distant it may be. I recently lost an aunt, and, the debates after the service were unexpected. She had some sporadic health challenges for several years, yet none of us expected her to pass. The family did not have an estate plan, so, it was up to her children to decide what to do with everything. They followed simple guidelines to determine how to distribute her possessions.
How To Avoid Family Conflict When There’s No Estate Plan
1. Honor Common Traits
My aunt only had one daughter, so, she was able to filter through her clothes, and share the remaining pieces with her niece. My dad is one of the best bakers in our family. They made sure he received her rolling pin which had been in the family for at least two generations. I like pearls, and none of my aunt’s grandchildren wore them, so, I was gifted her pearl bracelet.
2. Share with Friends
My aunt’s next door neighbor had an old, boxy television. It had broken a while ago, and, she couldn’t afford another one. They gave one of my aunt’s flat screens to her as a gift. Any of the family members could have taken the flat screen, but didn’t actually need it.
3. Share the Same Amount
All of the children and grandchildren inherited the same amount. Money is always a sensitive subject, and can cause strife, if not handled properly. Having it distributed evenly among the immediate family made for a peaceful exchange. No one felt as though there was a favorite amongst all the kids.
Failing to preplan an estate can lead to a lot of bickering in the midst of mourning. It was shortly after this, my parents, brother, and me updated my parents’ estate plan, in case anything should happen.
Suggested Read: Everything You Need To Know About Planning A Funeral
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