Unfortunately, when someone passes away, this can cause disputes among family members who may have been under the impression they would receive assets differently. Working with a qualified estate planning attorney is one of the best ways to protect your loved ones and ensure that they understand your intentions when crafting your estate.
Working with an attorney helps to minimize the possibility of disputes that may ultimately impact the value of your estate and a smooth distribution of the inheritance. If a loved one passes away and leaves behind assets, siblings and family members may disagree on the best way to divide an estate.
If there’s no clear estate plan or will in place, the state’s laws will determine how these assets are passed down and this could cause further disputes from people who may have anticipated that a loved one will do the right thing and divvy up their share.
For example, perhaps someone didn’t update their estate plan after divorce and the person who passed away had children from two separate marriages. The children from the second marriage may not be incorporated in an estate plan in the same way as children from the first marriage. When the children from the first marriage refused to pass on assets that they legally received from the estate plan, this could cause unnecessary conflicts.
Many of these disputes are avoidable, so long as the person in question can take on the responsibility of estate planning. A lawyer can streamline this process, making it that much easier to cross “estate planning” off your to-do list. Once you create your plan, return to it after any shifting life circumstances.
Many of the most common family conflicts surrounding estate planning can be eliminated or at least minimized by communicating with a knowledgeable attorney and creating a custom estate plan.