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Your heirs may fight over the small things

Fights between heirs and beneficiaries are unfortunately common, and many of them do involve big items: who gets to own the family home, who gets to run the family business, or how the investments should be divided up. However, it's important to remember that the small things can also cause issues.

One expert noted that this issue could cause problems between families—which could last for years or even the rest of their lives—even when the items in question were insignificant compared to the entire estate. For example, he noted that heirs would sometimes have millions of dollars in the total estate, but they would disagree about who got something like a watch that cost $2,000.

Yes, that's an expensive watch, but not compared to millions in investments, property and cash.

One reason that this could happen is that people sometimes feel a sentimental connection to certain items. A father's watch or a mother's locket could be highly coveted by children, and may have been for years, even if they're not worth that much money. The emotional connection makes them worth more.

There are a few keys to preventing these fights between heirs. The first is to try to make sure that the will is as fair and balanced as possible. For example, if someone gets the home, make sure the other siblings get the same value in cash, investments, artwork and the like.

On top of that, it's also a good idea to include everything in the will. If the little things are divided up along with the big things, children will be more likely to accept the terms.

As you work through this, take all the necessary legal steps in Texas to make your will binding and official.

Source: Wall Street Journal, "When Heirs Collide," Liz Moyer, accessed Oct. 29, 2015

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