Estate planning requires careful considerations about what to do with one’s assets. Bequeathing money and property to surviving relatives can be challenging, as equal splits might be ill-advisable. Someone can distribute their inheritance unequally due to personal reasons. Communicating such decisions might be a helpful way to avoid conflicts during probate in Arizona.
A case for unequal inheritances
When planning your estate, you can leave specific individuals or charities whatever you wish, as long as you have the mental capacity to do so and do it willingly. Several reasons may factor into why someone prefers not to give heirs equal distributions of assets. Age could be an issue, as someone might be too young to handle the responsibilities of receiving ownership in a business for a substantial amount of money. One possible factor contributing to family conflict is estrangement; the relatives do not get along, and the disharmony contributes to devising unequal distributions.
There could be other estate planning strategies worth pursuing in certain situations. For example, devising into a trust might be preferable if someone is too young to manage their affairs or lacks the necessary skills. The trust would follow the estate planner’s wishes regarding managing assets and making decisions.
Conflicts during probate
Although someone might feel entitled to an inheritance, you may feel otherwise about a particular heir. However, a disgruntled heir might contest the will, upending an otherwise smooth probate process. Even when the person lacks standing or has a sufficient case to contest the will, delays and added costs could complicate probate. Thoughtful estate planning and ample communication might prevent such a scenario.
Communicating decisions to heirs and relatives could eliminate most emotional responses to unpleasant surprises after the testator’s passing. Although someone may disagree with the decision, communicating intentions might mitigate rash action. Such steps could also address potentially frivolous attempts to contest the will.