Considering what your heirs will actually want is crucial when making an estate plan. Remember that what they desire could be far different from what you assume they'll want or what you think is most important. That's why it's so critical to keep the lines of communication open at all times. In some cases, small things can cause lasting arguments and rifts between your heirs.
For example, one woman noted that her children fought endlessly over a seemingly worthless blue bowl with a handle. It had been their grandmother's, and she'd scooped out their cereal with it when they were kids and would come by to visit. They all wanted it, but there was only one bowl, and so their mother ended up keeping it to put an end to the fighting between her adult children.
The kicker is that the bowl was never special to the grandmother, and it was nearly worthless. It was from the 1950s, and she only had it because she bought some holiday pudding and the scoop was a free gift that came with the pudding. She kept it to use for cereal, probably not thinking much of the decision.
This story illustrates how little issues get in the way. The grandchildren weren't fighting about a million dollar lake house or a large investment fund. They just wanted that little blue bowl that they remembered from when they were kids. The sentimental connection caused the rift.
Many arguments between heirs and beneficiaries can be avoided with careful planning in advance. Be sure you know what legal steps you should take and how to incorporate your heirs' desires into your estate plan.
Source: Forbes, "Little Things Can Cause Big Fights When A Relative Dies," Deborah L. Jacobs, accessed Nov. 18, 2016