Stachler Harmon Attorneys at Law
3 Factors that Increase the Likelihood of Estate Disputes
When it comes to estate planning in the Dayton, Ohio, area, one of the best things you can do to keep your loved ones from fighting amongst themselves. All too often estate disputes occur because one or several individuals do not agree with the final instructions the deceased has left behind.
You do not want your relatives going at each other’s throats and making claims that cause your estate to be held up indefinitely in probate court. Take some time to review the following signs that indicate your loved one might contest your will.
1. Having Co-Trustees
It may seem as if having multiple trustees overseeing your estate can help to make administering it easier. In the event they do not see eye-to-eye on things, the likelihood of disputes increases. Executors must be able to make swift and efficient decisions, and this is not easy to achieve when there is more than one person with the same duties. Depending on your situation, you might find it more beneficial to select just one trustee and make everyone else substitutes who can take over if your primary choice is unable to fulfill the duties.
2. Outdated Estate Plans
Life happens, and with it circumstances that may cause you to disinherit or add friends and family members. Many people make their estate plans and forget about them, not realizing that changes in the law and their lives can void certainty, and parts of their final wishes can cause conflict amongst family members and beneficiaries. It is essential for you to review and revise your estate plans every few years or as often as necessary to ensure they reflect your most recent wishes.
3. Undue Influence
Many people become vulnerable to influences they would not normally fall prey to as they get older. Though you might not believe you have anything to worry about that would cause anyone to call your capacity and estate plans into question, it is best for you to remain cautious and prepare. Encourage your family and friends to stay in frequent contact with you. Visit them and allow them to check up on you. Try to maintain a good relationship with your family members to reduce the chances of coercion and manipulation by someone who seeks to benefit unfairly and against your wishes when you die.
By anticipating potential issues your loved ones might have regarding your will, trusts and final instructions, you can reduce the likelihood of disputes that might have an adverse impact on your legacy. You might find it beneficial to work with an attorney to make your estate plans litigation-proof.