Before a will can be carried out and the assets it names distributed as intended, the document must go through
probate. During this process, the courts attest to the legal validity of the will and set aside funds to pay off relevant taxes or debts related to the estate. Probate records are provided to all heirs and beneficiaries after the deceased has passed. Unfortunately, this can lead to family fights and even legal disputes.
How to Avoid Probate Litigation
Families can get into tiffs about all manner of assets. Whether it’s land, a family business, or a treasured heirloom, as any attorney will tell you, anything and everything can be cause for dispute. Miscalculated expectations are always at the root of these disagreements. The best way to minimize the likelihood of probate litigation is with a clearly written document that accounts for unexpected events that may disrupt the plan.
An attorney can draft a will in a way that makes it harder to dispute. While some people might try a "do it yourself" will, these are not written with the precision and clarity that an attorney writes with. When you are distributing your assets to beneficiaries you need a well written document that is easily and clearly understood by the court. After all, you aren’t here to explain things or clear up misunderstandings.
You may also discuss with your estate planning attorney the use of "nonprobate transfers" for some or all of your assets. These techniques might include a revocable trust, an irrevocable trust, transfer on death designations, beneficiary designations, joint tenancy or even lifetime gifts with or without a reserved life estate. These methods can provide more privacy and lessen the opportunity for court supervision over their transfer.
See a well qualified attorney to create a well done plan for your estate.
Attorney Alan A. Panek is that attorney.
For help with estate planning issues of all kinds, from drafting wills to handling probate disputes, look to Alan A. Panek Law Office, S.C. Located in Wisconsin Rapids, WI, this attorney is known for providing competent legal counsel clients can trust. From real estate to family law, he is well versed in a range of fields. Find out more about his practice areas online. For an appointment, call (715) 421-4900.