If you have already created your will and feel your estate plans are solid, you might be sadly mistaken. While your family should be grieving and coming to terms with your passing, they might end up fighting amongst themselves over the contents of your will.
It is not uncommon for disputes to happen when sibling rivalry and other issues arise that cause everyone to want what you have left behind for someone else. Before you put your will and estate planning documents aside, consider the following pointers to help prevent disputes over them:
Must have legal standing
Whether you have a large family or a small one, you need not worry about all of them coming after your assets after you pass away. Only certain members of your family are legally eligible to dispute your will. Anyone who stands to inherit from your current or a previous will, your spouse, siblings, children, parents and heirs all have legal grounds to mount a challenge. Also, anyone who has a legal right to your property and creditors can also leverage a dispute against your will.
Must have valid cause to file
Some people file disputes against wills to be spiteful. Others do so because they legitimately believe they are not receiving what they should or that a relative should not receive an inheritance. For a dispute claim to be valid, the disputer must have sufficient cause. That means hurt and unjust feelings, personal conflicts and greed are not valid reasons for your loved ones to disagree about your final wishes.
It is important for you to review your estate plans and last will and testament for potential loopholes your family members might try to exploit. You should also work with an attorney to ensure your loved one has no reason to claim that you lack the mental acuity necessary for your instructions to be valid. Legal counsel can also help you make provisions to minimize the likelihood of any disputes.