By Chip Morrison

The end of the holiday season can sometimes bring families both sadness and relief. While the holidays are a time when loved ones get together to enjoy each other’s company, holiday stress can certainly lead to trivial arguments and miscommunications. Imagine the disagreements that can arise if something more serious were to happen like leaving your loved ones behind to divide up property if you didn’t plan properly.

Unfortunately, family feuds are constantly in the news. It has become all too common for probate attorneys to see more contested or litigated probate cases, than not. Many families do not realize that there are some very simple estate planning techniques that will completely avoid probate, and greatly reduce the risk of your family becoming entangled in years of unnecessary litigation. 

While it is true that some believe that a bad plan is better than no plan, it is easy to imagine the problems people can leave behind when there no plan in place. Protect your family by planning ahead – make it your New Year’s resolution to get your estate plan firmly in place in 2019. So, how can you prevent your family from fighting after you are gone?

  • Meet with a professional. Talking with an experienced estate planning attorney will help you create an estate plan that will accomplish all of your wishes, and will certainly help avoid any problematic surprises that your family may encounter. 
  • Considering leaving your estate in trust.  When a parent leaves their entire estate to a trust, that property can be administered exactly how the parent desires. This can be accomplished during the life of the parent, as a way to completely avoid the probate process altogether. 
  • Updating your estate plan regularly. As your life changes, your estate plan should too. Unintentionally leaving out some family members could lead to a fight after you are no longer around to correct the oversight. 

No one wants their own family saga to serve as a cautionary tale after their death, so don’t put your loved ones in a situation where the legacy you left to them ends up as another contested probate matter.  Make and keep a resolution to talk to an estate planning attorney this year to discuss ways to protect your legacy and future family harmony. 

About Our Law Firm

Morrison Law Group, PLC is an estate planning law firm in Metairie, Louisiana. Chip Morrison is Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Administration, as certified by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization, and is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, and offer guidance and advice to our clients in every area of estate planning. We offer comprehensive and personalized estate planning consultations. For more information or to schedule a consultation please contact us at (504) 831-2348 or visit us online at