How to Avoid Inheritance Disputes

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Estate planning is one of the things that all seniors should consider. While they’re no longer responsible for whether their loved ones are adequately taken care of, many still care that their estate is executed amicably. 

Disputes can result from conflicts brought about by family feuds. If you don’t want any of this to ever happen to your family after you leave, here are some tips to help you plan for the future: 

Don’t Postpone It

One of the common mistakes people make is not thinking about estate planning at all. Many fail to set up their estate plans while they are still young and healthy. It’s important to consider the future and how it may impact the loved ones you leave behind. 

As much as possible, estate planning should be done while you’re still young and of sound mind. Often, disputes arise from one family member contesting the veracity and legality of the will. 

There have been cases in which caregivers receive a hefty amount of inheritance, and family members may claim that the former influenced the will. 

Have a Living Trust

Aside from crafting your will, it is also advisable to use a living trust. This legal document designates all tangible assets into a trust which can be administered to a person’s benefit while they are still alive. 

Once they pass, the assets would then be distributed to the named beneficiaries. Living trusts avoid probate, a time-consuming and expensive process. It helps unburden your loved ones from possible fees and taxes. 

Be Open

Communicate with your family about your plans. Let them know beforehand so they know what to expect. Inheritance and death is often an unwelcome topic within a family. However, this should not be the case. 

Disputes can occur because loved ones assume that they are entitled to something. When the will doesn’t reflect that, they feel resentment and bring in a San Diego estate litigation attorney to fight over their inheritance. Once you let them know of your plans, they can better understand your decision. 

Update Your Estate Plan

Make sure that you keep your estate plan up to date at all times. Estate laws and taxation ruling changes happen not only in California but in most states of the U.S. You have to make sure that your estate plan undergoes proper review, so you avoid penalties and other liabilities. 

Of course, your life situation may change. You may get married, divorced, or bear another child, and you may wish to change it accordingly. 

Work With Lawyers

Estate planning is something you cannot do on your own. While your preferences should be followed, it needs to be compliant with federal laws and regulations. You also have to factor in taxes and fees that you or your loved ones would incur before it can be executed. 

As such, working with lawyers for your estate plan is necessary. Your lawyers are the ones who ensure that your estate plan works to the best of your interest. They can review your provisions and let you know if there is a chance that your estate plan would be contested in court. 

The best time to start estate planning is now. Once you have the opportunity, grab it. Unless you are okay with your loved ones fighting over your assets after you are gone, inheritance and death should never be taboo in a family. 

Those who carefully plan for their future can ensure that their loved ones have the provisions they need. 

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