Disputes may be one of the most commonly overlooked estate planning concerns in the Greenwich and White Plains area. While the likelihood of disputes in lower value estates is not common, they happen frequently in high-value estates. You should never assume your loved ones are going to quietly and amicably accept your last will and testament.
There is always the possibility that someone may challenge your will. Consider the following pointers on how to prevent potential conflicts and disputes over your estate.
Make sure your will includes the necessary provisions
An invalid will is easily contestable. A valid will meets the following criteria:
- The testator is of legal age (18 years old)
- The testator must not have any mental impairment
- Witnesses must be present during the signing of the will
- The will must have a date
- An inventory of assets and disbursement instructions must be in the will
- Creation of the will is voluntarily and free of coercion
If any of the above factors are missing, anyone who has a legal right to raise a claim against your will might do so successfully. Keep in mind there are rare exceptions.
Talk to your family
One of the best ways to head off potential disputes is to be open with your family. After the loss of a loved one, the remaining family members experience a variety of emotions. Learning the contents of a will can be an unwelcome surprise, especially if someone has been left out of it or expects to receive more. Discuss your estate plans with your family now to give them time to adjust to the news and work out their differences.
Estate planning is not something to put off. It is necessary to preserve your assets and final wishes. Take measures to prevent disputes to allow your loved ones to grieve properly.