An estate planning attorney understands that the majority of the population does not like to discuss, or even think about, their death. Because of this, many people do not have any estate plans in place. This can cause serious issues in their families when they do die because there are no legal instructions about how assets and property should be divided. Instead of being able to lean and comfort each other, the decedent’s family is instead often torn apart in fighting and legal battles over who gets what. In the event that you need legal advice, do not hesitate to contact a professional, like an estate planning lawyer Ridgefield, CT trusts, who can assist you with all of your needs.
We have been helping clients ensure these types of legal battles do not occur when they die. We can assist you in drawing up wills, trusts, guardianships, advance directives, and any other legal issues that need to be addressed.
How to Avoid Inheritance Disputes
There are steps you can take to help minimize the chances that your survivors will fight over the assets you leave behind. It is important you set up an estate plan right away, before an illness or old age inhibit your ability to do so. The best time to draft and implement these documents – and guarantee that they cannot be questioned based on whether or not you were of sound mind and body – is when you are healthy.
Keep in mind that you can change your estate plans anytime you wish. Your estate planning attorney will likely also advise you to update your plans should you have a major life event (such as birth of a child or divorce), as well as when the government enacts any type of estate or tax law changes.
Once you do have an estate plan in place, it is important for you to have a discussion about what your wishes are with your family. You want to make sure that each member clearly understands how you want your estate to be divided. This can be helpful in warding off any potential issues after you die if all members understand why you made the decisions you did.
Despite these explanations, there is still potential of objections to your wishes after you’re gone that could result in a family member attempting to contest your wishes. This often results in a delay of the probate process, division of assets, and can also be expensive because of the attorney fees and court costs involved.
This is why many of our clients decide to set up revocable living trusts where they can place their financial assets and property. Upon their death, the assets in the trusts are then distributed to whoever is named as beneficiary. You decide when that distribution will take place, either immediately or sometime in the future. Living trusts avoids the probate process, as well as the risk that your last wishes could be overturned by the court in a contested will battle.
Thank you to Sweeney Legal for providing their insight on estate planning.