The unveiling of one’s last will and testament almost never happens like it does in the movies, where an attorney reads the document out loud and those in attendance are shocked. Although a formal reading is rare, those who are named (or not named) in someone’s last will and testament might still be surprised when the probate or trust administration commences. Surprises in a will typically lead to conflict between family members and more challenges for whoever is handling the estate.
The best thing you can do to prevent future conflict is to be transparent about your estate planning each step of the way. If possible, include trusted family members in the planning process. In spite of the natural bias they may have, they will hopefully put their own interests aside for the sake of what is best for you and in order to avoid potential problems.
Your loved ones may also be able to offer you insights that you wouldn’t have otherwise. They may be able to advise you on how best to meet ongoing support needs of beneficiaries. They may also know more about tensions within the family that you are not aware of but that you will want to address within your estate plan.