Disputes are fairly common during the probate process. Grief can bring out the worst in people, and beneficiaries often take to fighting over assets or belongings when they don’t know how else to cope. Unfortunately, such disputes will only add to the stress, not to mention the duration of the proceedings and, subsequently, the total legal expenses. In other words, it’s wise to anticipate potential disagreements when estate planning, so you should take steps to mitigate them and relieve some of the burdens on loved ones. If you’re not sure how to get started, the following tips will help.
3 Tips for Preventing Fights Between Beneficiaries
1. Update Critical Documents Periodically
Taking a proactive approach to estate planning will protect your loved ones’ financial security—as long as you review each document periodically and make modifications as needed. For example, if you fail to update your will after getting remarried or adopting a stepchild, it could complicate probate considerably.
2. Discuss the Basics With Key Individuals
Although you are under no obligation to disclose your estate planning arrangements, share the basics with family members. This will ensure there are no surprises upon your passing. If those who will be receiving assets—and those who will not—know well in advance what to expect, disputes are less likely to arise.
3. Account for Sentimental Value
Not all disagreements that arise during probate have to do with assets of significant financial value. In fact, disputes regarding sentimental items are fairly common. Ask your children or other beneficiaries which of your possessions mean the most to them so that you can distribute them accordingly. Chances are, each will value something different.
Mitigating potential disputes is just one of the many considerations to keep in mind when writing a will. For comprehensive counsel regarding all aspects of estate planning, turn to Stuart R. Norman Jr. in Jewett City, CT. This seasoned attorney has more than 40 years of experience practicing law. Today, he is proud to provide clients throughout New London County with a variety of legal services. Whether you’re trying to complete a real estate transaction or file a personal injury claim, you can rely on him for strategic guidance at every stage. To learn more about his estate planning services, visit his website. To schedule an appointment, call (860) 376-0069.