Challenges to estates are common in Hollywood dramas because they make for interesting stories and suspenseful scenarios. However, California residents who are in the process of creating their estate plans may wish to do everything they can to avoid introducing conflict into the administration of their end-of-life estates. There are a few suggestions for individuals who want to keep the peace between their heirs and beneficiaries after they have passed on.

One issue that can arise in the administration of an estate is ambiguity regarding the distribution of the decedent’s personal property. Estate plans are often used to handle big assets, like homes and investments, but sentimental items of property should also be given attention. Family conflicts can arise when heirlooms, artwork and other personal property items are left out of estate plans.

Additionally, fights may ensue if a decedent names an inappropriate or ineffectual administrator for the estate. An administrator who abuses power or who shirks duties can cause problems for all individuals who have an interest in seeing an estate properly administered and closed.

Finally, if an estate planner wants to leave certain individuals unequal bequests – such as leaving one child more money than the others – then they should make their intentions clear. The estate plan can include an explanation for why the one child is provided with more or why the other children are being given less. These are not the only ways that conflict can arise in the administration of estates, and it is therefore recommended that individuals get the right information about their own unique circumstances when they are preparing their testamentary documents.

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