Estate Planning Tips for Keeping the Family Together

How a Clear Estate Plan Can Help Keep Your Family Together

Distributing your estate assets after you’re gone can potentially create a significant amount of tension in your family, particularly in cases of extensive families or blended families. Having a clear, well-communicated estate plan in place can help ease tension after you’re gone, increasing the likelihood your family will have less trauma to deal with after your passing.

Safe Harbor can help you through the process of creating an estate plan that expresses your wishes. We can also help you to communicate those wishes to your family before your passing. These are difficult conversations, but the burden that they ease make them worth it.

Call us today to begin the estate planning process and let us help you create documents that clearly express your wishes, and help you to communicate those wishes to your family, or read more about our services at this link.

What You’ll Learn FROM THIS VIDEO

  • What may cause tension in an estate plan.
  • Why an estate plan, clearly communicated, can help keep the peace in your family.
  • What resources we offer to help you communicate these difficult elements to your family.


Margaret Barrett: Will my family fight after I’m gone? That’s a scary thought, but if you already have some tension in your family, or maybe somebody sees things a lot differently than everybody else. Maybe you’re in a blended family. There’s a lot of reasons why you might be worried about your family fighting after you’re gone. I understand.

My own mom lost her brother after my grandpa died. Grandpa had left everything, which wasn’t a lot, to his second wife. My uncle wanted to contest the will so the kids would get something. My mom did not want to contest the will and as a result her brother and his family cut off all ties with our family. It’s been 50 years.

I don’t want that to happen in your family. As an estate lawyer, I can help you increase the odds that your family will keep getting together for Thanksgiving after you’re gone. Today I have three tips to help you get that done.

First, work with an experienced estate planning attorney who focuses on estate planning. We can help you get your documents done properly. We can put in language to make it hard to contest. We can make it really clear what your wishes are and help you achieve them in the best way possible.

Second, you can choose a trust instead of a will. When wills are probated they must be filed with the court then they’re public. Anybody can see who got what and who got nothing. Trusts are private on the other hand. They can also include some creative solutions that might really help your family fight less. This can really be helpful in blended families. Or perhaps you have a family member who’s not financially responsible.

My third tip is to talk to your family about your wishes before you’re gone. I know this could be a difficult conversation. I’m happy to coach you on it or facilitate the conversation. I can even be the bearer of the bad news. I really won’t mind if I’m not invited to their house for Thanksgiving.

Look I’m not a magician and I’m not God. I can’t guarantee your family won’t fight after you’re gone. But I can make sure that your wishes are clear, that they’re documented in the best way, and communicated. We do this every day and we would be happy to help you.

I understand this can be confusing and even overwhelming. So we put together a live workshop to answer your questions. Please click below and register. We look forward to seeing you there.

Author Bio

Margaret Barrett is the Founder and Owner of Safe Harbor Estate Law, a Saint Paul, MN, estate planning law firm she founded in 2013. With almost 15 years of combined experience in litigation and Minnesota estate law, she is dedicated to representing clients in a wide range of estate law matters. Her practice areas include estate planning, asset protection, elder law, and more.

Margaret received her Juris Doctor from the William Mitchell College of Law and is a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association and the Ramsey County Bar Association.

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