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Advice for preventing disputes of your estate

Imagine that your two sons have been getting along well during all of their adult lives. However, after you die, there's a disagreement between them regarding the distribution of your estate. The arguments enflame old wounds and they end up in court – fighting over what each believes is rightfully theirs. Unfortunately, these situations happen a lot, and it's precisely what you want to try to avoid when you're planning your estate.

Here are two tips that you can follow to keep your family in a strong and loving relationship with one another, even after you're gone:

Distribute your assets fairly and equally

Distributing your assets among heirs in a fair and equal manner could be harder than it sounds. You might have a very good reason to give one son more than your other son. However, when you give unequal amounts to people who hold equal status in your family – such as two siblings – it creates the chance of a sibling rivalry to ensue.

In some cases, the sibling who inherited less could choose to fight the matter in court – which would cost a great deal of money and time for all parties involved. By choosing an equal distribution, on the other hand, there's less of a chance that someone will feel like he or she has received the short end of the stick.

Communicate your wishes to your family members

When you communicate with your family members about your estate plan, you will make sure that everyone is "on the same page." This is essential to help avoid misunderstandings. The best way to communicate your estate plans to your family is to hold a meeting in which everyone is present.

If some family members are away and can't attend in person, consider having them attend the meeting by Skype. Even if they don't agree with your choices, they'll at least know that it's what you wanted and they will be more likely to follow your wishes.

If you're unsure with how to preserve your family's relationships after you pass away, you may want to explore some new legal strategies that could help you achieve this goal.

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