When a person dies and leaves inheritances to their heirs, conflicts can arise. For example, if one sibling receives significantly less than the other siblings, he or she may feel hurt and try to contest the will. Some family members can be mad at each other for years. If you were named the executor of a will, one of your responsibilities is to keep family conflicts at a minimum. While you can’t control how people feel, you can take steps to minimize inheritance fights.
Inform Everyone of the Rules
As an executor, it’s important to tell family members about the ground rules as soon as possible. Explain what you’re going to do and exactly what you expect out of everyone. Tell them that they can provide input, but there are still decisions you will have to make on your own. The earlier you establish expectations, the better off everyone will be.
Communication With Everyone Often
When you’re the executor of an estate, you must communicate with the family members openly and frequently. Update them frequently of what’s going on with the estate and be available to address their questions and concerns. If you go weeks without giving the family members updates or don’t return their phone calls in a timely manner, they may become worried.
Call in a Third Party
If you strongly believe that there will be family conflict during the probate process, it may be necessary to call in an objective third party, such as a lawyer or mediator. This person can remain neutral and help resolve conflict in a calm manner.
Remember to Take Care of Yourself
Taking on the role of an executor can be very overwhelming and stressful at times. Even if you work well under pressure, dealing with the probate process and family squabbles can get to your eventually. That’s why it’s important to take take good care of yourself during the process. Don’t let the process consume you and be sure to set boundaries.
Consulting With a Probate Lawyer
Probating an estate can be a very stressful and time-consuming process. If you ever feel like you need help, don’t hesitate to consult with an experienced probate lawyer. A lawyer can guide you through the probate process and do a lot of the legwork for you. If you have a skilled probate lawyer on your side, you may be able to complete the probate a lot sooner. He or she will help you file all the necessary documents correctly and schedule court dates in a timely manner.
A probate lawyer can also help reduce disputes. It’s the lawyer’s job to resolve disputes as early as possible and make the process as inexpensive and stress-free as possible.
Probate lawyers have guided hundreds of individuals through the probate process and are here to assist you. Call today to schedule a consultation.