There are numerous benefits offered by creating an estate plan, but one of the primary goals for many individuals is to help keep the peace in their family after they are gone. Below are a few steps you can follow to help prevent litigation over your estate plan:
- Mental capacity. A common issue that is raised in many lawsuits over estates is whether the decedent had the required mental capacity to execute the documents. If there is any doubt about mental capacity when the estate planning documents are signed, a simple visit to a physician immediately prior to signing the documents to verify the requisite capacity can eliminate this argument.
- Attorneys. Retaining separate lawyers to represent the testator and other family members can prevent an unhappy party from arguing a conflict of interest.
- Executor. If you are concerned that there will be family fighting over your estate, you should consider appointing a professional executor. While this may cost money, it will be worth it if it prevents disputes among your loved ones.
- Disinheritances. If any parties are being disinherited, you must make the disinheritance clear and concise. The wording must make it evident that the disinheritance is intentional. However, a reason should not be given for the disinheritance because this could open the door for the disinherited individual to challenge it.
- Take action. It is important to take action while you are healthy to get your affairs are in order. Creating an estate plan ensures that your wishes are carried out and that your family is protected.
The Astill Law Office has provided high quality legal services for over 30 years. We specialize in wills, trusts, estate planning, and asset protection. If you have any questions about creating a Trust, Will, or estate planning in general, contact The Astill Law Office at 801-438-8698.