Poorly planned estates invite Probate costs and litigation. The estate often has to pay taxes, court fees and attorneys' bills. The people fighting over the estate have attorneys' fees of their own to pay. However, all of that is just money. There is a far more important cost to bad estate plans that people should consider: the costs to familial relationships. Most estate litigation pits family members against each other, and it is often family members who previously got along with each other. … [Read more...] about The Hidden Costs of Bad Estate Plans
Are you aware of estate litigation traps? Chances are, like most people, you do not. Because people whom are not involved with law practices may fall into these traps, it is important to work with an estate planning lawyer experienced with estate litigation. The more experienced your estate planning lawyer is with the process of estate litigation, the least likely your estate is to fall upon these issues. There are many facets to the estate planning process ranging from complex to … [Read more...] about Avoid Estate Litigation
Are you concerned your estate is going to go into litigation following your passing? Estate litigation is the process by which the estate is being contested by one or more parties. If you are worried about this happening with your estate, discuss your concerns with your estate planning lawyer. There are a number of ways to avoid these costly court proceedings. These include the following: Gift your assets: because so many fights occur over sentimental property following someone’s passing, … [Read more...] about Can You Avoid Estate Litigation?
Like contesting a will, disputing a trust is an emotionally charged and complex issue. While trust disputes are not as common as will contests, they do occur and are often based upon the same type of issues. 1. The legality and validity of the trust itself. With the plethora of online tools to create a trust, there can be legal issues that occur with improperly prepared documents as well as documents that may not reflect the true intentions of the person creating the trust. 2. Removal of … [Read more...] about Estate Litigation: Why a Trust may be Disputed
Do you have your suspicions that one of your heirs might be dissatisfied with the way you’ve structured your estate plan? Are your children apt to fight over their inheritances? If you’re worried that your loved ones might be unhappy enough with your will to contest it in court, you might want to meet with an estate planning attorney and talk about whether a living trust would be a better option. Unlike a will, a properly funded living trust allows your assets to avoid probate. And, while this … [Read more...] about Worried About a Will Contest? A Trust May be the Way to Go
Families differ when it comes to their level of comfort about discussing financial matters, and this can have an impact on their estate plans. If you don’t feel comfortable taking a “full disclosure” approach with your kids (or if this approach simply wouldn’t be wise given the dynamics of your family), it’s especially important to have an effective and well thought out estate plan. Here’s an example of what can happen if you don’t: A recent Canadian case, Barrick v. Lilliste, involved Alvin … [Read more...] about Secrecy is Not the Best Estate Planning Strategy
Dealing with the death of a loved one is never easy, and the experience can be all the more difficult when you don’t receive the inheritance you were expecting. Estate planning attorneys frequently get phone calls from potential clients who believe they were treated unfairly and want to contest a loved one’s will. However, just being dissatisfied with how you’re treated in the will – no matter how unfair that treatment might be – is not enough to successfully challenge a will. In order to … [Read more...] about Contesting That Will Might Not be as Easy as You Think