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Family Conflict in Estate Planning: Family Secrets

Part 3 of our Series

Sources of Family Conflict in Estate Planning

Family conflicts are as dynamic as our family makeup.  Deciding who’s in charge of your estate (blog 2) or sibling rivalry (blog 1), the sources of family conflict are often secrets between family members.  This week we write about histories of resentment and other family secrets that can cause conflict in estate planning.

Long histories of resentment that create conflict

There can be a fine line between love and hate and often it comes out between members in a family.

This year on Mother’s Day one thirty-one year old daughter murdered her father who was seeking to have her evicted from his Charleston, South Carolina residence. He had taken her in for a short-term stay, and she refused to leave. He went to have her evicted. After that she murdered him and tried to cover up the murder.

The day after Mother’s Day this year in a town south of Portland, Oregon an adult son living at home with his parents killed his mother and cut off her head. He carried her bloody head into a local grocery store and started stabbing a well-liked clerk. The other employees were able to subdue the man as he was not able to attack well while holding onto his mother’s severed head under his arm.

The Black Sheep 

If one of your adult children is not a “Great American”, you have to acknowledge that. It is very hard for a parent to say that one of their children is not a good person, but it is necessary when you are doing Estate Planning. You have to protect the other adult children from this wayward child.

Special Needs issues

Do not knock your challenged or handicapped loved one off of government assistance. Some clients need “Special Needs Planning”. This is where a handicapped person is receiving, or could get government benefits based upon their handicap or challenges, and you are knocking them off of their benefit by leaving an inheritance directly to them. You can leave an inheritance to them if it is done in a form of a “Special Needs Planning.” That way you won’t disqualify them from their needed government assistance.

Next blog: Part 4 – Lawyer to Lawyer

At the Law Firm of Steven Andrew Jackson, Attorney and Counsellor at Law, we have helped hundreds of families protect themselves and their loved ones, avoid Estate Taxes and Probate Costs, and keep their Estate Plans current with the law through The Customized Protective Estate Planning Solution™.