I sometimes hear the phrase "oh, we all get along very well." When I speak to my clients, I may propose an idea that would reduce potential friction in the family. I get concerned about whether or not siblings will fight or others in the family would have concerns about the estate plan. Many of my clients, in an apparent effort to relax my concerns, say, “Oh…don’t worry about us Rob. Our family gets along VERY well. We won’t be facing the problems you fear….”
I smile and I say, “Mr. and Mrs. Smith, I’m sure you are correct. However, my job is to make you aware of POTENTIAL problem areas. If there are no problems, then that is terrific. However, if there are problems, we will have addressed them in advance.” I also add, “There are buildings all over this country called ‘Probate Courts’ which are chalk full of families that USE to get along very well. Money, real estate, and other issues involving inheritance can cause families to fight among themselves.”
If your family gets along “very well,” I suggest you be proactive and protect your family JUST IN CASE something goes wrong.