It may be uncomfortable to face your mortality, but it is necessary if you have assets you want to leave to your loved ones. As you know, this is a major reason not to put off writing your will. However, disputes may arise among your family members even if you do have your will planned. To avoid fights that may create irreparable rifts in the family, you and other Illinois residents may need to be creative and conscientious during your estate planning.

As you may know, losing a loved one can cause the worst to come out in some people. Your relatives might create contention as a way to deal with their grief, or someone may simply be selfish or feel entitled to more than his or her fair share. The following tips may help ensure your wishes are followed and prevent disputes regarding asset division after your death:

  1. Be detailed and explicit when creating your will. Name your assets individually and clearly state the beneficiary of each item.
  2. Invite your family members to a gathering to decide which of your items, such as jewelry, furniture and heirlooms, they would treasure the most. Make a list and inform them that this will go into your will.
  3. Consider giving away some items while you are alive. This not only puts the assets in the hands of those you have designated but gives you the chance to see your loved ones appreciate them.
  4. If you think a family member might take some possessions before the will is read, change the locks to your home and give one key to the executor of your will. Make sure your executor is someone you can trust.

Nobody wants to think that their relatives would fight over an estate, but the possibility always exists. Planning ahead of time may prevent the worst of a will dispute.