Death and taxes are two of the aspects of life that nobody can avoid regardless of income, race, religion, or any other factors. Planning your estate can be a tough process especially if you are torn about who to give which property. For those people with multiple properties, this can be a bit easier as giving different people different homes/apartments/condos is far easier than choosing one person to get a single home. The reality of planning for the end of life should be done early as the unexpected can happen. You do not want there to be family problems due to the lack of planning your estate before you pass away. The following are tips to allow your estate dividing process to go smoothly and to reduce family discord.
Hiring An Estate Attorney
A lifetime worth of hard work has gone into building your personal estate that you will leave behind to your family. The last thing that you want is for your estate to go to certain individuals that you do not see fit to manage it appropriately. Hiring an estate attorney can allow you to fully understand the options for your properties. For those people that have multiple properties whether they are vacation homes or income properties, an attorney is necessary.
Dividing money is not as difficult as dividing properties as they differ in value immensely. Selling a property can happen then splitting the money but both parties will have to agree to accept an offer which can lead to conflict. Special requests and other stipulations can be drawn up by the attorney as well as many people do have detailed instructions dividing their assets. Walser Law an estate attorney in Boca Raton states on their site “ Many trusts for descendants contain restrictions, limiting distributions for such needs as medical support, education, and living expenses to maintain a beneficiary’s accustomed lifestyle.” Trusts can be a great option as well as it can reduce conflict due to everyone benefitting from the estate.
Be Honest With Your Family Even If It Is Tough
The last thing anyone wants is fighting after you have passed away due to keeping your will and plans for your properties a secret. Be honest with your family even if the news might not make everyone happy. This does not mean that you have to tell everyone together as hearing what others are receiving could cause tension. Allowing the family to know about major pieces of property or assets is important. Smaller things like jewelry can be outlined and allocated with your direction by your legal team. The golden lining after someone passes away is the gift that they leave for family members. Helping them to avoid the best probate attorney is the last act of kindness that can be completed so be honest about your intentions.
Income Properties With Money Going Into A Trust
Income properties should stay income properties as this can generate monthly income for those receiving ownership of the property. This, of course, depends on the property is a great investment as declining property values in an area might signal it is time to sell in the near future. Putting this money into trust and employing a property management company might be the best option if the recipient is too young. Individuals in their teenage years or early 20’s might not make the best decisions in regards to an income property so putting money into a trust until they reach 25 or 30 could be wise.
Restrictions For The Sale Of Properties If A Family Gathering Place
There are certain homes that you will want to keep in the family and you can stipulate this in your will. This could be a vacation home that the family meets at for Christmas or the entire family has fond memories of. Visitation schedules can be worked out but most families will have an amicable enough of a relationship to work this out themselves. If the home does become too much to maintain then selling can be considered especially if it is costing the family large amounts of money to maintain/pay taxes on.
Understand Not Everyone Will Be Happy
Not everyone is going to be happy if they feel like they were not given their “fair” share. Reminding this person that it is your property and assets that are being divided can put it into perspective for your loved one. Too much fighting within the family has led various people throughout the years to leave the bulk of their fortunes to charities. Taking time to explain your reasoning should also be done if someone has an issue with the allocation of your estate.
As you can see there are steps that you can take to plan out who will receive what in terms of the properties you own and assets you have accrued. This is the result of a lifetime of work so do this carefully!