When a family member passes away, this can cause great emotional upset to those closest to them. Not only do loved ones have to grieve, but there are also many organizational factors to consider.
One crucial aspect that must be settled is how the deceased estate should be distributed. Unfortunately, this is not always an easy process and there can be disagreements. Outlined below are three common causes of disputes over inheritance.
Often, people give in to the temptation to create their own will. Typically, this is done by downloading templates from the internet. However, self-made wills commonly lead to disputes because the inheritance law of each state can be very specific. During any legal conflict, experts will generally scan estate planning documents very carefully, and a will that contains legal provisions from other states will not be enforceable.
Having no estate plan
Frequently, individuals put off estate planning until it becomes too late. The result of this is commonly confusion and frustration for family members. Usually, when a person dies without a will, the distribution of the estate will be subject to the intestacy rules of the relevant jurisdiction.
A perception of inequality
Even when a valid final will and testament has been left by the deceased, disputes can still arise. At times, loved ones may perceive the instructions contained within a will as inaccurate or unfair. For example, the wishes in a will may not reflect the verbal wishes expressed just before the person died. Moreover, it may be the case that one family member has received a significantly higher value of assets in their inheritance. Situations like this are highly likely to result in a legal challenge to the will.
Having a solid estate plan is the most effective way to ensure that your loved ones are protected in the event of your death. Additionally, an up-to-date plan that accurately reflects your wishes is likely to decrease the chances of legal disputes.