Many family members promise each other that there will not be a dispute over money or property when a parent or another relative passes. Sometimes, this works out. Other times, hard feelings and disappointments come to the surface.

A clearly communicated will or trust, created for you by an attorney with experience in estate planning, can avoid these issues.

Disputes over family houses or property

For many people, their home or land is their most valuable asset. Many times, the memories associated with a family home also make its inheritance seem more important than perhaps it is. Often, it is a disappointment to surviving family members when they discover that they must sell property to settle the estate or divide assets evenly.

For all these reasons, you should plan on the inheritance of a family home or land before you pass away. A properly constructed trust can also provide some degree of protection against estate taxes, creditors and other inheritance issues.

Disputes over personal items

It may surprise you to learn how often lawyers must litigate over items that are not really worth that much financially. Emotions can flare, especially when more than one family member wants particular items such as antiques or china, and these disputes can far exceed the items’ value. Avoid this by making your specific wishes clear for as many items as possible, and appoint an executor who can negotiate satisfactory solutions on other items.

Other disputes over inheritance

If you die without having drawn up a will, the probate judge will appoint an executor of your estate and divide it according to state laws. It will not matter what your emotional ties are to given relatives, nor will it matter which of your relatives needs the most support. The probate judge will divide your estate according to the current laws.

You can avoid these problems by seeing an attorney with experience in estate planning law. You will have peace of mind with a properly established will or trust.

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