There is a lot of decision-making that goes into estate planning. Perhaps the biggest decisions are those that determine to whom assets will be distributed when the time comes.
For many Californians this is a simple choice. They simply decide to evenly divide their assets amongst their loved ones, whether that be their siblings, their parents, or their children. In many cases, individuals simply choose to leave everything to their spouse.
Yet, other Californians recognize that equal and fair are not always the same thing, which means that they will have to be more detailed in their estate plan to get the results they want.
Issues of unfairness can arise in many contexts when it comes to an estate. Of course, the breakdown of how assets are divided can give rise to claims of unfairness, but there are other matters that can become complicated for those looking for a fair estate plan.
For example, adult children may feel looked over if one of their siblings is chosen as the estate’s administrator or a trustee. On the other hand, naming co-trustees can lead to a whole host of issues that may end with children bickering with one another.
So what can an individual do to avoid these potential issues? To start, they can consider utilizing another family member to manage an estate after the testator passes away. This can leave those who one wishes to leave on equal footing, like adult children, feeling like they are all being treated fairly. Of course, this can also cause infighting if the named individual is questionable to others involved in the process.
Another option is to consider having a professional administer an estate or act as a trustee. This can deflate any tension amongst beneficiaries and heirs, thereby allowing them to focus on the things that really matter.
There are a lot of considerations that must be taken into account to create a successful estate plan, which is about so much more than just divvying up assets. To work through how to create one of these plans, Californians can work with an estate planning attorney they trust to guide them through the process.