Asset Distribution

A mother was finalizing her estate plan and in connection with that, asked us to prepare and submit an asset distribution plan to her three sons.  The plan reflected the mother’s intention that her assets would be equally divided. To her surprise, the disclosure ignited a firestorm of controversy among the three sons that threatened not only to frustrate the mother’s goals but also to embroil the family in litigation, if not before her death, then almost certainly after it.

The issue revolved around the perception held by two of the brothers that the mother had favored the third at their expense.  The basis for much of the dispute was an investment the mother had made in an engineering services company that the third son had started.  We recommended that the mother disclose the details of that investment, but the mother was very reluctant, believing that she owed no duty to discuss why she made some of the decisions she had with what she characterized as “my money.”  Eventually, she agreed to disclose some of those details, and also provided a detailed memo explaining how she had determined the asset distribution plan.  While these disclosures did not immediately resolve the controversy, they did reduce the amount of resentment the two brothers had.  After a few months of phone and email communications, the mother and her sons felt comfortable enough to meet in one place without any professionals, to talk face-to-face about mother’s estate plan.

After that meeting, the mother made some modifications to the distribution plan to address the issues raised by the two sons. At the very least, these adjustments sent the message to the sons that she did hear their concerns. The threat of any litigation abated.  The plan was implemented with those adjustments incorporated.

Download Seeing the Blind Spot To Learn More

The Bloom Group, LLC’s lead attorney, Peter Bloom, published a comprehensive guide to working with your family in 2019. To read more about how families work together and see how the rest of the story above unfolds, download Seeing the Blind Spot today. 

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If you want a legal team that delivers results and prioritizes your needs, reach out to The Bloom Group, LLC today. Schedule a consultation now to discuss your legal needs and explore how we can help you achieve your goals.