Palm Springs Law Blog

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Contests and Disputes: Protecting Your Estate from Family Feuds

When we pass away someday, we often hope that our assets can be provided to those whom we love. The last thing that we want is for those very individuals to get into a dispute over the estate. Unfortunately though, this can occur even within the closest families often due to the emotional strain that is often experienced when grieving.

Not only can these family feuds prove devastating for relationships, but they can also cost you a lot of time and a lot of money. Estate disputes can even drain resources and leave your loved ones without the close relationships they once shared – let alone the gifts you intended for them to have.

So What Can You Do?

The following steps may seem like common sense, but many people forget to take them to protect their estate from family feuds.

  • Have a Medical Evaluation
  • One of the most common arguments in estate disputes is that the Will’s writer or trust’s testator was not of sound mind when he or she wrote the document. In order to avoid this argument, you may wish to consider having a psychological evaluation (as well as a physical evaluation) just prior to completing your document.

  • Use Different Counsel
  • Do not use the same legal counsel that other family members use. This can help to protect your interests and those whom you are leaving assets to.

  • Hire a Professional Trustee
  • Instead of selecting a family member to serve as a trustee, think about hiring a professional trustee, such as a bank, California License Professional Fiduciary, attorney, or cpa. By appointing a family member the position of trustee, it can easily cause jealousy and resentment between your other family members. Professional trustees can eliminate this jealousy and are less likely to abuse the powers granted to them.

  • Ensure Your Ownership
  • Make sure that you have ownership of all of the property that you wish to give away. This is especially important if you jointly own a property such as a business or a piece of real estate.

Heritage Legal, PC Helps Those in California to Create a Comprehensive Estate Plan

While you wish to do something thoughtful by leaving some of your assets to your loved ones, without taking the necessary steps it can actually do more harm than good. This is why it is in the best interest of you and your loved ones to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced California Estate Planning Attorney.

A qualified estate planning attorney can listen to your wishes, provide legal advice, and help to ensure that you have covered all of your bases in order to prevent any type of conflict between your loved ones when you are gone.

At Heritage Legal, PC, we understand the importance of protecting those whom you care about most and helping to ease the burden on your family. We can help you to create a comprehensive estate plan that fills all of your needs. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

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