3 tips to avoid a dispute over a large estate

When a beloved family member dies, dividing up his or her estate, especially if it is large, can be challenging for those involved. Emotions tend to be high, and hurt feelings may result.

In Arizona, many people put most of their assets into trusts. This and an estate plan allows them to determine who will receive what after they die. If you find yourself involved in a trick situation regarding the division of a large estate, these tips may help ease tension and avoid disputes.

1. Make sure a will is in place

Before the owner of a large estate dies, he or she should have a legal will in place. If the owner of the estate already knows where he or she would like the property to go, the will can outline it so that no one has to fight over it later on.

2. Leave beneficiaries out of the planning process

If you have a sizable estate, you may want to get your children or heirs involved in planning the division of your property. However, it is best to do so without any beneficiaries involved. If one gets left out of the planning, he or she may later claim undue influence by those who were.

3. Include a handwritten explanation letter

While not a legally binding document, a handwritten letter explaining your thought process behind your estate division plans may help ease discord between family members.

A large estate is a good problem to have, but dividing it after death can become contentious without proper legal planning.