It is common for families to discuss an Estate over the holidays.
That is especially true when a loved one passed away recently, and nothing has been done to handle the Estate.
In this article, we’re going to share five key tips for how to have those conversations successfully so they don’t ruin the holidays and turn into an Estate dispute.
My name is Erik Broel & I am the founder & CEO of Georgia Probate Law Group.
At our firm we help families who have lost a loved one navigate the complex and confusing legal process so they can make sure the estate is handled properly and their loved one’s memory is honored.
Sometimes discussing the Estate over the holidays can be helpful and productive.
Other times, though, it can cause more strife and disagreement.
These are our top five tips for successfully discussing the Estate over the holidays.
1. Ask Yourself: “Is Discussing The Estate Over the Holidays A Good Idea?”
Estate situations can bring out strong emotions.
That is especially true when you loved one passed away recently.
If you know there will be a disagreement or you suspect that a family member will have a strong emotional reaction, it may be better to avoid talking about the Estate at the Thanksgiving table, and instead set up a specific family meeting for that topic.
2. If You Discuss The Estate Over The Holidays, Make Sure Everyone Present Gets A Chance To Talk And Express Their Views.
I can’t tell you how many people call our office to pursue an estate dispute because they are upset that another family member disregarded their feelings and ran over them.
3. Focus On The Plan.
● Who is the best person to manage the Estate?
● What should be done with the personal property?
● Are there any important sentimental items?
● How will the Estate home be handled?
● If there is a mortgage, how will that be paid during the process?
Each of these questions will need to be answered.
Use the discussion time to hear each family member’s opinion.
4. Avoid Arguments And Seek Points Of Agreement.
There are bound to be areas where family members disagree.
It is often more productive to find common ground than to argue about a minor point and potentially ruin your holiday gathering.
Those disagreements can be worked out at a different time when hopefully cooler heads will prevail.
5. Remain Calm.
These are sensitive topics and emotions will run high.
Go into the conversation with a conscious determination to remain calm and be a voice of reason.
Everything discussed in this article is for general information and is not legal advice.
If you are in a situation where you’re trying to settle an estate, I recommend you reach out to our office at (770) 920-6030 to set up a consultation.
If you’re not quite ready for a consultation, be sure to download our Georgia Probate Handbook so you know how the estate is supposed to be handled.