The future is uncertain, but one thing Louisiana families can do to preserve their interests is to have specific plans in place. Estate planning is the process of protecting beneficiaries and determining what should happen to wealth, assets and other types of property after death. While it is often the source of conflict within families, there are steps that can reduce the chance of complications and fighting.

The first step to making the estate planning process smoother is preparing all financial documentation. Speaking about finances with family members and having paperwork at hand can give everyone involved a clear picture of what is going on. It will reduce the chance of financial surprises when it’s time to settle the estate in the future.

A family meeting is a crucial part of reducing conflict in estate planning. It may be necessary to sit down with children and other beneficiaries and discuss intentions. While estate planning is a private and personal process, some families may find it helpful to discuss these matters together. This transparency can make it less likely children will fight over assets, beneficiaries will dispute the terms of a will and loved ones will find themselves in a legal battle that can take months to resolve.

Finally, working with an experienced Louisiana attorney is an important part of the estate planning process. A knowledgeable legal ally can help craft a plan that is enforceable and beneficial for all parties involved. When properly crafted and thoughtfully prepared, it is less likely there will be problems over an estate plan down the road.