Top 5 Ways of Avoiding Family Estate and Inheritance Fights

Famous celebrities continue making national celebrity news headlines posthumously when their heirs challenge their last will and testaments. For example, consider Anna Nicole Smith. Her heirs have spent millions in legal fees challenging her will.

Unfortunately, this happens to less famous people, too. However, there are ways you can avoid these will contests between your loved ones. Here are the five steps you can take to reduce the chances of family fights over your estate.

1. Avoid surprises. Fights may break out if you surprise your loved ones by giving them more or less than they anticipated.

2. Change your estate planning documents as necessary. If you go through any life-changing event, including divorce, new children, new marriages, and newfound wealth, make sure you update your will and other estate planning documents to accommodate these changes.

3. Leave your children equal inheritances. Obviously, you have a right to make unequal distributions, but treating them equally in your will can minimize the chances of any fights.

4. Consider using trusts. By using trusts, you may be able to keep some of your estate plans private. Probate records are public, but trusts are not. You can keep some of your wishes confidential, especially if you plan on giving specific charities a lot of money.

5. Address the specifics. Talk to your attorney about the “in equal shares” or “per stripes” provisions they intend to incorporate in your will. If you want certain loved ones to inherit specific items, state such

Experienced estate planning attorneys Port St. Lucie FL of the Robert J. Kulas, P.A. offers estate planning and business planning resources to residents of Port St. Lucie FL.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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