No sibling or parent wants to heighten the antagonism between sisters and brothers when crafting their will. Yet it happens, often entirely unintentionally. Fighting can ensue after a family member dies and siblings don’t receive what they wanted or anticipated in the deceased’s will. That person is no longer present to quell the arguing, so it can rage on long after they are gone. Ironically, it’s probably the very last thing they ever wanted to have happen.
Are there any proactive steps you can take to lessen the chance of family battles between your kin? Although there are no magic wands to wave to prevent these conflicts, you can diminish the likelihood that your final wishes might widen sibling rifts.
Bear these things in mind
You may have your hands full with decisions like who to name as your executor and figuring out who gets your valuables. Making time to think about how not to inflame sibling squabbles after your passing is equally important.
Have siblings meet the people who are advising you- They will be able to ask questions and see that you are getting reliable professional guidance. That, in turn, may give them more confidence in the whole process and in your decisions.
Be open in discussing your intentions- Let the siblings, whether they are your children or your brothers and sisters, know that you care about their feelings and that you are trying hard to avoid triggering conflicts. Mention that you will do as much as possible to leave them possessions of yours they each have their eye on.
Be aware of long-standing sibling feuds- Sometimes, siblings clash from childhood on. Maybe their personalities just don’t mix. Or one believes that a parent favored the other more. Whatever the origin, try not to innocently fan the flames by leaving much more in your will to one person than the other.
A delicate process to navigate
You might want to talk over these issues with the professional who is advising you. They have most likely been through this before with other clients. They will know how to steer you onto the right path for you and your family.