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Good communication can help solve estate disputes

The months after the passing of a loved one can be an emotional time full of stress, grief and sadness. Many estate disputes arise during this period, and often people act in an emotionally charged way. Sadly, rifts between family members can easily be created.

If you find yourself in a dispute regarding a loved one's estate, consider whether toxic communication made things worse. By communicating in a calmer manner, it might be possible to solve the dispute without undergoing costly litigation. The following are things you can do to communicate better and address estate issues more effectively.

Planning your estate as a young professional

It's never too early to start thinking about planning your estate. If you are a young adult, it's likely that you don't have a lot of assets, and therefore you may think that planning your estate is unnecessary at this stage in your life. However, the benefits of planning your estate go far beyond the distribution of assets.

By planning your estate, you can state your wishes regarding certain possibilities - such as you becoming ill or incapacitated. Additionally, planning your estate early in your life will set up a good foundation for years to come -- when you do acquire significant assets. You should take the time to consider the following questions before planning your estate as a young professional.

What does it take to form a non-profit organization?

You have an altruistic dream that you genuinely believe could benefit humanity, solve a local crisis or address a global challenge -- and you want to raise money, get grants, and put your dream in action! A non-profit organization may be the way to go.

So, where do you begin when it comes to the legalities of creating a non-profit entity?

Rights to a parent's estate if they have a surviving spouse

Losing a parent could be one of the most difficult things you will ever have to go through. The shock of losing a parent can cause you to question what matters in life and how you should live in the future.

Modern families tend to be more complex than traditional ones. If, for example, you lose your parent, and their spouse, your stepparent, is still alive, you may wonder whether you will be entitled to a portion of your parent's estate. The answer to this question rests largely on the estate plan your parent has created. They may, for example, have created a trust for your benefit. They may also have added a clause in their will that includes their children as well as their spouse.

What are some mistakes first-time executors make?

It's an honor to be appointed as executor of a loved one's estate. The problem is many who are appointed to that role only do it one time. Many are ill-informed about their responsibilities and make mistakes as they carry out their assigned duties. They can cost heirs to lose a significant portion of their inheritance.

A common mistake that executors make is not prioritizing the payment of bills as they roll in. Two of the most important ones are the funeral home and tax bills. In the case of the latter, you can be held personally liable if the estate runs out of money or you neglect to pay any taxes due. This is why it's important to pay this one first. Bills for utilities or credit cards are of the least importance.

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.

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