When you are planning your estate and creating your will, you only have the best intentions in wanting to provide for your family. There have been many cases, however, where loved ones have believed the will is unfair or that perhaps the information in your will was made in error. This is when family members might try to contest the will. You can avoid any disputes of your will by following these simple steps.
Plan Your Estate Early
It is a good idea to begin planning your estate when you are younger and in good physical and mental condition. It is easy to wait until you are older when you feel you will need it, but sometimes family will contest a will when family members believe that the loved one made the will under duress or when the deceased was not of sound mind. This is especially true should you become ill with dementia as you age or some other illness that could incapacitate you. You are more likely to avoid any bickering if you plan your estate early.
A Living Trust
You could create a living trust to help quell some of the bickering as well and dispel any thought that you are being robbed of your money while you are still alive. A living trust places your assets and estate into a trust in which a person you appoint — a family member, friend or even a legal representative that you trust — handles your financial needs should you become unable to. The assets after your death are transferred to the person administering the trust or are held to be distributed among your heirs.
Inform Your Family
While many people would rather not inform their family of their plans when creating their will, it is actually a good idea to tell your family what your intents are regarding your estate. When you sit your family down and talk to them about what you want to do with your assets and property, there is less of a chance for disputes to occur.
Update Your Will Regularly
One of the most common times that family members can dispute a will is when the will is not updated on a regular basis and is in fact out of date. This can happen when a divorce occurs, or perhaps a person who was originally in the will has passed away. This also can happen when tax and estate laws change. You should regularly review and update your will to take advantage of tax breaks, keep up with the law and to include or take out family members who have either joined the family or have left.
For additional advice, contact an attorney like David R Webb Attorney.