How to write a will that won’t trigger a family feud

Creating an estate plan is a gift to the people you leave behind. By expressing your wishes, you’re trying to guide your loved ones at a difficult, emotional time.

All too often, though, well-meaning people do things destined to create discord, rancor and resentment among their heirs. What looks good on paper may play out disastrously in real life, says estate and trust attorney Marve Ann Alaimo, partner at Porter Wright Morris & Arthur in Naples, Florida.

“People want to think everybody will be nice and do right,” Alaimo says. “Human nature is not always that way.”

In my latest for the Associated Press, four things you can do to reduce the chances of family discord.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Text a retailer and you could get back money and time. Also in the news: Shoppers cash in on the Golden Age of branded credit cards, how to spend money guilt-free even if you owe student loans, and the do’s and don’ts of using store credit cards for holiday shopping.

Text a Retailer and You Could Get Back Money and Time
No more waiting on hold.

In ‘Golden Age’ of Branded Credit Cards, Shoppers Cash In
Rewards and incentives are everywhere.

Spend Money Guilt-Free — Even With Student Loans
Don’t ignore your own needs.

Do’s and Don’ts of Using Store Credit Cards for Holiday Shopping
The holiday shopping season is right around the corner.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Ditching debt while budgeting for a baby. Also in the news: What to do if Hurricane Florence hits your home and/or mortgage, five people who are crushing student debt, and what you can learn from the last financial crisis to help you with the next.

How I Ditched Debt: Changing Habits, Budgeting for a Baby
A shift in priorities.

What to Do If Hurricane Florence Hits Your Home, Mortgage
The Category 4 storm is heading towards the Carolinas.

Meet 5 People Who Are Crushing Student Debt
Tips from the masters.

Here’s what you can learn from the last financial crisis that will help you with the next
Planning ahead.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Don’t be afraid to test-drive your car salesperson. Also in the news: How your net worth compares and what matters more, 5 family vacation planning tips learned on the fly, and creative strategies for lowering your debt-to-income ratio.

Don’t Be Afraid to Test-Drive Your Car Salesperson
Switch when you need to.

How Your Net Worth Compares — and What Matters More
It’s just a just a high-level picture of your financial life.

5 Family Vacation Planning Tips I Learned on the Fly
Stay on budget while still having fun.

Try these creative strategies for lowering your debt-to-income ratio
It could be the deciding factor when applying for a loan.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 3 simple things anyone can do to stay out of debt. Also in the news: Summer is the perfect time for a financial checkup, how to ace back-to-school shopping, and how stashing receipts saved one man over $1000 in 7 months.

3 Simple Things Anyone Can Do to Stay Out of Debt
Knowing your limits.

Summer Is the Perfect Time for a Financial Checkup
Checking your financial health.

Ace Back-to-School Shopping With 6 Smart Moves
Starting the school year off right.

How stashing receipts saved one man over a $1,000 in 7 months
Hold on to every single one.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 times to stash your cash and pay with plastic. Also in the news: Chase switches to Expedia for its online travel, how to use autopay to boost your bottom line, and a guide to borrowing money from friends and family.

5 Times to Stash Your Cash and Pay With Plastic
Good for extra protection.

Chase Switches to Expedia to Power Its Online Travel Portal
More choices and flexibility.

How to Use Autopay to Boost Your Bottom Line
It could even help save for retirement.

A Guide to Borrowing Money From Friends and Family
How to handle that awkward conversation.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 9 expenses to pack in your moving budget. Also in the news: How to stretch summer job money, retaking control over car payments, and when it pays to buy a one-way plane ticket.

9 Expenses to Pack in Your Moving Budget
Leave some wiggle room.

How to Stretch Summer Job Money
Invest in your future.

Car Payments Out of Control? Retake the Wheel
Get back in the driver’s seat.

When It Pays to Buy a One-Way Plane Ticket
One=way premiums are disappearing.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Summer is the perfect time for a financial checkup. Also in the news: Why your parents’ money guru may not be right for you, how to get ready for the next recession now, and what you don’t know – but should know – about how your financial advisor is paid.

Summer Is the Perfect Time for a Financial Checkup
A great time to get back on track.

Your Parents’ Money Guru May Not Be Right for You
Your goals may be different.

How to Get Ready for the Next Recession Now
Preparing for the worst.

What you don’t know – but should – about how your financial advisor is paid
Beware of conflicts of interest.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Zap the fees that eat away at your wealth. Also in the news: Back-to-school sales for adults, the average retirement savings by age, and how to get free financial advice.

Zap the Fees That Eat Away at Your Wealth
Americans pay close to $400,000 in fees over their lifetime.

You’re Never Too Old for a Good Back-to-School Sale
Stock up on clothes and accessories.

The Average Retirement Savings by Age and Why You Need More
You can never have enough savings for retirement.

How to Get Free Financial Advice
It’s readily available.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Ace back-to-school shopping with six smart moves. Also in the news: How to prepare for the next recession, how a remodeling project changes your property tax bill and adding more cash investments to your portfolio.

Ace Back-to-School Shopping With 6 Smart Moves
Avoiding the splurge trap.

How to Get Ready for the Next Recession Now
Making your finances recession-proof.

How a Remodeling Project Changes Your Property Tax Bill
Upgrades mean an uptick in home value.

Interest rates are going up. Is it time for more cash investments in your portfolio?
The appeal of cash investments is growing.