Preventing Beneficiaries from Fighting Over Assets
Almost all families experience some type of conflict, and adult siblings may find themselves in disagreements over what should happen to the estate of their parents or other deceased loved ones. In the most serious cases, siblings may even sue each other for certain assets or property in their parents’ estates. This ugly situation can be avoided, however, through sound estate planning.
One of the best ways to avoid a will contest is to include a “no contest” clause in your estate plan. This provision essentially states that anyone who attempts to challenge the provisions outlined in your will forfeits his or her rights and receives nothing from the estate. It is important to remember that if the will is carried out in Florida, this clause may be ruled unenforceable in certain circumstances.
Planning your will early can also deter questions about whether you were of sound mind when determining who receives certain assets or property. If a will is written later in life, a lawsuit may be filed based on the argument that you were not fit to be making these sorts of decisions. Setting up key estate planning documents while you are clearly of sound mind will decrease the likelihood that this type of claim will be viable.
Updating your will annually can also prevent any contests in the future. If a will contains any drastic changes, such as disinheriting an individual completely, reviewing it often will help establish the fact that you were sure of your decision. Consider scheduling a yearly appointment with your estate planning lawyer to review your plans and ensure that all assets and property are handled in the way you see fit.
If you believe your beneficiaries may engage in conflict upon your death, be sure to take the right steps to mitigate any challenges ahead of time. To learn more about how you can move forward effectively, speak with a dedicated Florida wills and trusts attorney at the Charles Law Offices.