An unattributed quote that makes the social media rounds a few times per year sums up a feeling that many parents have when thinking about the children they have raised:
“A mother’s prayer is that her children will love each other long after she is gone.”
This is sadly not the reality for many families, and many sibling relationships sour as a result of disagreements over how to handle a parents’ estate. As estate planning attorneys, we know all too well that a lack of preparation during life can result in toxic estate litigation between children long after your death.
The good news is that estate litigation is largely preventable by undertaking thorough estate planning with the help of a proven professional.
Common Causes of Estate Litigation
Typical triggers for will contests and other estate litigation include:
• Accusations of fraud
• Parents allegedly agreeing to changes under duress or as a result of undue influence
• Life insurance designations or lack thereof
• The presence of a new spouse after a will has been created
All of these issues can be avoided through proper planning and execution of a will, trusts, and other estate planning vehicles. The simple action of creating a will while you are in good health can avoid most allegations of duress and undue influence. Likewise, having your will updated when you remarry can avoid issues with a new spouse or children from a second marriage.
We can help you create an estate plan that addresses these issues and clearly defines what you want to see done with your financial assets, real property, and other possessions. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.