Family Fights Over Inheritance – When ‘Fair’ isn’t always equal

Thinking about your eventual demise is not exactly something that people like to spend a lot of time doing. Despite this, planning for the future and the distribution of your assets to loved ones is a necessary part of ensuring that your wishes are carried out in the way you’d like.

By creating a clear plan for your final wishes with an attorney, you can ensure that complications are mitigated before they arise.

You will want to make sure that the ones you love are able to look to your will as a roadmap for settling your estate as quickly as possible. Losing a loved one can be difficult for anyone to deal with, by having a will in place, they will have the ability to spend time grieving rather than deciphering how you would have liked your assets divided.

At times, family can become estranged from one another. Disagreements or tensions can arise that make family relationship complicated. Sometimes, when a person passes without a will in place, family members may fight over your possessions. This can range from money, to valuables but also family heirlooms.

Grief can sometimes cause people to behave irrationally. They may be looking to hold onto things you once held dear as a way to keep your memory alive. By having an attorney draft your will, you can have a clear path to guide loved ones after you pass away.

Here are some examples of situations that are likely to cause heightened feuds within a family when a loved one passes away:

Giving a beneficiary a portion of their inheritance before you die but not others in your family who stand to inherit assets. Be clear in your will if this was actually the case.

You may want to make sure that you identify only one person to hold the responsibility of trustee. By appointing more people to manage your will, could put them at risk of disagreeing or fighting over how the estate should be managed.

If you are married a second time, or later in life, you will want to outline clearly who stands to inherit what. ALWAYS update your estate plan or will after any changes in marital status.

You will want to make sure that you are clear which of your assets can be sold and which you expect beneficiaries to cherish. Family members who are destitute or are in need of money are more likely to sell things that you would like to keep in your family.

If you have disinherited someone within your family such as a child, you will want to make sure that your will is as updated as soon as possible. It is possible for someone who has been left out of a will to challenge it in probate.

If the will being created is for an elderly member of your family, you will want to make sure that they are not swayed or manipulated into leaving someone an inheritance who is taking advantage of them.

When a family member suffers from substance abuse or a mental health disorder, their judgment will surely be clouded after losing a loved one. They are also more likely to sever ties with family members and act irrationally when it comes to making decisions based on your will.

An attorney can serve a number of purposes when it comes to your will.  Some people may even appoint an attorney to help manage the estate or act as executor after passing away. This can prove to be beneficial in situations where family dynamics are complicated. Having a professional, who is impartial, can help ensure that your wishes are carried out in the way that you would have liked. An attorney may even be able to help families navigate challenging familial situations when dividing your assets and carrying out your final wishes. If you need any legal help regarding wills, contact Attorney Charles Bendig for any information.


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I’m Chuck Bendig,


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