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How to effectively dissolve family estate disputes

If you have recently lost a loved one, you will know that emotions can become tense during the grieving period. As well as going through the emotional process of grieving, it is possible that you will also have to deal with the emotional aspects of the bereavement.

When dealing with a deceased person's will, family members may be shocked or upset by the information laid out. If, for example, siblings were given unequal potions of an estate, this could be very upsetting, and it could cause rifts in the family dynamic. If you want to prevent family arguments from occurring, you may want to consider the following tips.

Is it possible to avoid business litigation?

No business wants to become involved in a dispute. Not only can it be costly from a financial perspective, but it can also damage public perceptions of the organization, increase internal conflicts and distract from the key business goals.

If your organization has become involved in a dispute, it is important that you try to reduce the risk of litigation early on. It's better to try to prevent a fire than to wait for it to ignite. The following are some key ways that you can put measures in place to avoid business litigation in the future.

Do unmarried couples need an estate plan?

You and your partner have been together for the last 20 years. You were both coming out of other marriages -- via divorce -- when you met. You agreed that, while you were committed to each other, you did not want to get married again. It did not seem worth it to go through the whole process.

As you grow older, you start wondering about your estate planning. Do the two of you need an estate plan together?

Alternative dispute resolution for probate issues

When there is a dispute relating to the probate process after a person's death, the situation is likely to be complex from many standpoints. It is probable that the issues will not only be challenging to solve from a legal perspective, but they will be emotionally charged. This can lead to people involved in the dispute acting illogically or in favor of their emotions rather than what would be strategically favorable.

In addition to the emotional and legal factors to take into account, there is the added complication of financial limitation. Those involved in a probate dispute often have limited funds to invest in the cause, especially because the money invested will only diminish the amount that they are set to gain in regard to inheritance. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is a popular choice for those who want to solve the issues without costly and stressful litigation.

The biggest estate planning myth: You can do it when you're older

There are a lot of estate planning myths out there. People give bad advice about how to avoid estate taxes. They don't understand how trusts work. They think that only the super-rich need to have an estate plan.

This is why you don't want to ask friends and family members for advice. They may mean well, but they could repeat some common myths that could really cause problems for you as you do your estate planning. Make sure you get your information from a trusted source.

Handwritten wills discovered in Aretha Franklin's home

When Aretha Franklin passed away last August, it appeared that she had no estate plan -- despite the fact that she had significant assets, including her music catalog and memorabilia, which are likely worth millions of dollars. She is survived by four sons as well as grandchildren and other family members.

One of those family members -- a niece who was appointed as the estate's personal representative -- found three handwritten wills in her aunt's home this month -- two dated 2010 and one dated 2014.

5 reasons to draft that estate plan now

Do you have goals for your estate plan? It's different for everyone, but figuring out your goals is a great place to start. When you know what you want that estate plan to do, you can start working with that in mind, and you can learn about all of the options that will get you to that desired outcome.

To help you start, here are five common reasons that people draft estate plans. Do some of them apply to you?

  1. They want to reduce the amount of taxes that have to get paid on the estate. This means that more of their money can go to their loved ones and heirs.
  2. They want to keep the estate out of probate. They know that this can be a long and complicated process for their heirs, and they have no intention of putting them through that.
  3. They want to avoid family disputes and fights that can arise when there is no estate plan and heirs can't agree on what to do.
  4. They want to protect the assets that they control. For instance, they may worry about losing them in a lawsuit.
  5. They want to protect their heirs from various issues that may arise. For instance, maybe their heirs are minors, and they want to put the money aside so that it can get used for a specific purpose, like paying college tuition.

Do I need an advance directive?

The future brings about uncertainty. Though you may be healthy and active now, there’s always the chance of falling ill unexpectedly. According to studies, about seven in 10 Americans will experience a time in their lives in which they won’t be able to make decisions for themselves.

If that time came, do you know who would make decisions for you? What decisions would they make on your behalf? By creating an advance directive, you can gain some peace of mind.

How to resolve inheritance conflicts

If a loved one has recently passed away, your family will be going through a stressful time. Grief can change our mental state in many ways, and it can also cause us to act out-of-character. This can potentially lead to a higher amount of tension within the family dynamic, even if everyone is sharing the same grief.

If you are attempting to resolve a family conflict that has arisen during probate administration, it is important to tread carefully. If you are an heir of the estate, some family members might interpret your resolution attempt to be concerned with personal gain. That said, it can be possible to resolve an inheritance conflict. The following are some tips for avoiding and addressing family inheritance conflicts.

Choosing a structure before starting your business

When you have defined your business idea, planned your strategy and secured a sufficient amount of funding, it's time to start looking into some of the practical details regarding starting your new business. By now you should have a good idea of the way you want your business to function, but it's important that you translate your vision into concrete decisions.

Every successful business needs to have strong foundations in order to be successful in the long-term. Choosing the most appropriate business structure will help you to build those strong foundations. The following are some of the main types of business structures that you have to choose from.

  • Ohio State Bar Association | Connect.Advance.Succeed
  • Federal Bar Association | ORG Jan 5th 1920
  • Dayton Bar Association 1883
  • Super Lawyers
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