It is a good idea to have a family meeting when you are planning your estate. While it may not be possible or practical under certain circumstances, if you can communicate your wishes clearly to everyone while they are in the same room it could prevent potential problems later on.
To find an example of how things can go awry look no further than the dispute that erupted after the death of the automotive icon Carroll Shelby.
Back in May Shelby passed away at the age of 89 and he was married at the time. His seventh wife Cleo understandably wanted to take control of the final arrangements. She intended to have Shelby’s body buried.
Shelby had three children before he got married to Cleo and they did not agree with her plans. The Shelby children had estate planning documents signed by their father that called for cremation.
The matter of his final arrangements was put on hold while the parties entered into a legal dispute.
News is now circulating about a settlement. The body of Carroll Shelby has in fact been cremated.
20% of his remains went to his wife Cleo while each of the three children also received 20%.
The remainder was taken to Leesburg, Texas. This was Shelby’s hometown and this portion of his remains was buried along with his parents in a family plot.
This situation demonstrates why it is important to communicate your wishes regarding final arrangements with all of your loved ones when they are together as a group if it is at all possible.