Whether you die a prince or a pauper, disputes can arise among those left behind. Conflicts between your children from a prior marriage and your current spouse; arguments among your kids; disputes between your executor and your beneficiaries – all of these can happen and often do.
In the event you die with no estate plan, the most common disputes revolve around who should administer your estate and who should receive your assets. With no direction from you, beneficiaries often have different ideas of what is fair. If you have a plan, typical disputes revolve around whether you had capacity when you made your plan, whether your plan was made by coercion from others, or whether the fiduciary is doing a good job. An heir receiving less than others may believe that there was something sinister going on which caused the lesser distribution.
Death isn’t the only catalyst for family discord. Alzheimer’s and dementia are increasingly prevalent. Unless you take the time now to direct your family what to do with your assets and how to direct your care, your family might end up on opposite sides of the courtroom. Your family may not agree on which family member should be your guardian, whether you should have a professional guardian or whether you even need a guardian.
How do you reduce the likelihood of a dispute? Sit down with one of our estate planning attorneys. Formalize and execute a valid Last Will and Testament, Living Will, Health Care Power of Attorney, Durable Financial Power of Attorney, Trust or other estate planning documents. Create a roadmap that tells your family exactly what you want to take place if you become incompetent and when you die. The more direction you provide, the less likely disputes will occur later.
Contact AlerStallings at 877-912-3464 to set up an appointment to review, update and/or execute your estate planning documents. We are here to help.