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Avoid will contests with transparent estate planning

On Behalf of | Aug 20, 2020 | Simple Wills | 0 comments

As the Baby Boomer generation enters retirement age, many parents of large families find reasons to revisit their estate plans. These plans contain legal and financial information concerning assets, property, liabilities, insurance, and the division of the estate. The will is an integral part of any estate plan and often the most troublesome.

People with large families face an increased risk that their heirs may contest parts of the will. Parents know how challenging satisfying all their children at the same time can be, even posthumously in a will. To curb the potential that an heir may file a claim against the will, many retiring adults practice transparent estate planning.

What is transparent estate planning?

Transparent estate planning offers heirs and family members a peek inside the estate. Many retiring adults with large families have high-value estates with a collection of investments, insurance policies and even real estate. Heirs likely have many questions about the division of property and their inheritance.

Parents can address these concerns by following these three steps:

  1. Find a reliable lawyer: Estate plans are complex amalgamations of dozens of legal documents. People need a competent lawyer to keep everything straight. Certified public accountants and financial managers may have a recommendation for an experienced attorney.
  2. Draft a financial overview: A financial overview lays out a person’s assets, liabilities, insurance policies, and other related information in an understandable manner. These documents should identify all assets and their location, contain contact information for accountants and brokers, login information for online accounts, and outline non-financial assets and their intended beneficiaries.
  3. Meet with the family: Parents should then inform the family. During this meeting, parents provide their heirs an opportunity to peek inside the estate plan. Parents can state their intentions, offer reasoning, answer questions, and address their heirs’ concerns. The family can review the estate’s assets and the decedent’s wishes.

Have questions? Reach out to an attorney

Parents who wish to revisit their estate plans and wills can reach out to a local attorney familiar with Virginia estate laws. A lawyer can help draft comprehensive wills and estate planning documents, recommend reliable executors and work with the probate courts.