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6 Ways to Manage Your Estate & Avoid Family Fighting

What happens if you don't make your wishes known when you pass away? It could lead to your estate going into probate and your family members having to deal with the disbursement of your assets. This could lead to family infighting on what they think your wishes would have been. From hiring a professional to ensuring there is a digital copy of the will, here are six answers to the question, "What are some helpful tips for managing your estate to avoid inheritance nightmares?"

An Estate Planning Checklist

1. Consult an Estate Planning Attorney

Consider consulting with an estate planning attorney to ensure everything is in order and provide peace of mind for the future. An attorney can help you create a comprehensive plan tailored to your needs, allowing you to decide exactly who will receive your assets and in what form.

Additionally, they can review documents like wills and trusts to ensure everything is up-to-date and legally valid. Proper planning prevents future inheritance nightmares and ensures your legacy is passed on the way you want.

Michael Fischer, Founder, Elite HRT

2. Clarify Your Wishes

The best way to avoid inheritance nightmares is to make your wishes clear. If you have children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or other relatives likely to be beneficiaries of your estate, make sure they know what you expect from them.

Talk to them about what you expect from them to support you in your old age, help you with your finances, drive you to appointments, etc. Ensure they know any specific conditions or things you need that you would like them to be mindful of before you pass away.

If you have property that you want them to inherit, make sure they know about it. Tell them if you have specific items you want them to have. If you have property you do not want them to inherit or want them to donate your assets to a charity, be sure to let them know.

Matthew Ramirez, CEO, Rephrasely

3. Keep All Documents Up to Date

One tip for managing your estate to avoid inheritance nightmares is to stay organized. Keeping all of your documents up to date and easily accessible for family members and other executors can help reduce the stress involved in settling an estate after a person's death.

Make sure that you have a coherent plan, including who will be responsible for what tasks, and keep copies of important documents in a secure location. It is important to note that estate planning can be complex and requires careful consideration, so it is best to seek the advice of a qualified financial planner or attorney.

Aviad Faruz, CEO, FARUZO

A few key estate planning documents are:

  • Personal identification documents: Birth certificate, driver's license, passport, and marriage certificate

  • Tax returns

  • Copies of statements for all bank accounts and investment accounts

  • Insurance policies

  • Real estate deeds and vehicle titles

  • Last will and testament

  • Health Care Directive

  • Social media account passwords

  • Debt summaries from loans, mortgages, credit cards, etc.

4. Consider Tax Implications

One tip for managing your estate to avoid inheritance nightmares is to consider the tax implications of your estate plan. Depending on the size of your estate and the specific assets involved, there may be significant tax consequences for your beneficiaries.

It's important to work with an experienced tax professional who can help you understand these implications and structure your estate plan in a way that minimizes the tax burden on your heirs. This can help to ensure that your assets are passed down to your loved ones in the most efficient and effective way possible.

Will Gill, Event Entertainer, DJ Will Gill

5. Organize All Estate Documents

It's important to keep your estate documents organized and stored in a safe place so your heirs can easily access them when needed. Additionally, it's wise to review them periodically and make any necessary updates to ensure that your wishes are accurately reflected.

Yusuf Shurbaji, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Prismfly

6. Be Sure to Have a Digital Will

Much of what we do these days is digital. From banking to entertainment, almost everyone has digital assets that need to be managed after they die.

A digital will, such as those offered by, applies smart technology to give your loved ones access to these vital records and accounts when you're gone. This way, they aren't scrambling to find passwords and login information while grieving a loss.

Joe Karasin, CMO, Karasin PPC

What's one thing you've done to begin your estate planning process? Leave a comment below.

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