When you think about the future, and what may happen to your family after you pass away, you likely think about how you can leave them some protection or memento to ease their suffering.
You likely don’t consider the negative effects of what may transpire between family members after you are gone. While many people like to think that this emotional period will bring people together, the opposite is also true.
With no specific directions on what to do with your estate, family members may be left fighting each other in court over different properties, accounts and investments, and sentimental objects. As seen in an article published by The Globe and Mail, not having clear instructions can create complications and heartache between surviving adult children and their families.
In the article, the misuse of a parent’s funds caused some surviving family members not to speak to each other. Which, as one sibling quoted in the article describes, would have devastated his parents if they knew.
This scenario may become more common, as more and more boomers are set to retire. CIBC Capital Markets estimates there is $750-billion in wealth that will pass through wills by the year 2026.
The best way to avoid infighting amongst surviving family members is to have a comprehensive, customized will in place. For many people, especially elderly parents, they don’t get to see the impact their wills have on their families – the impact is felt by adult children and extended family.
This is where speaking to an experienced estates lawyer can be beneficial. Estate lawyers know how to outline your wishes and provide clear instructions that protect your family and is specific to the assets and family dynamic you are leaving behind.
It’s possible to create a will on your own. However, the risk is that, however you decide to allocate your estate, and the powers you give certain individuals – those will be binding. When you are creating a valid, legal document, it’s best advised to seek the advice of a legal professional to avoid any shortcomings or gaps, and reduce any unnecessary issues that may arise.