Assembling an estate plan requires a clear and direct focus on financial matters. You and your lawyer must parse through decades of dense paperwork to get a clear picture of your estate’s value. It can be easy to overlook important items during planning, including the happiness of your heirs.

Most parents worry about how their children will process their deaths. It is common for grieving family members to argue during this stressful time as they manage your estate’s distribution. Thankfully, you can include your heirs in the estate planning with three simple steps that help prevent your heirs from contesting the will and dragging your estate through probate courts.

Transparent estate planning in 3 simple steps

You can get ahead of most will contests with transparent estate planning. This process emphasizes sharing and clarity and enables you to include your family in the planning process. These guidelines can also help family members resolve their conflicts before they impact the estate process:

  1. Find a lawyer with the necessary experience: The best way to compile years of financial and insurance documents into a comprehensive plan is by hiring an attorney with the relevant experience. Your accountant or financial advisor may offer a suitable recommendation.
  2. Write up a financial overview: A financial review will include information on all your assets, liabilities, insurance policies, and beneficiaries. You can include contact information for professionals familiar with your finances, login information for online accounts and a distribution plan for nonfinancial items and family heirlooms.
  3. Hold a family meeting: The best way to communicate the financial overview is with a family meeting. A meeting allows you to talk to your children about your estate plan, explaining your decisions and addressing their concerns. You can introduce your estate executor and discuss the distribution of assets, property and nonfinancial items.

Start drafting your estate plan today

Transparent estate planning enables parents to talk things over with their children, addressing potential problems before becoming a legal matter. If you need help getting started, many people find success contacting a local attorney familiar with North Carolina estate laws.