Proper estate planning can prevent unforeseen problems in future that could probably see your wishes fail to be honored. If you watch TV or you read online news often, you must have come across stories of court battles between family members regarding an estate. Some battles take years, meaning that by the time the wish is fulfilled, the beneficiaries are long dead.
Today we look at what you can do to avoid such scenarios.
1. Promote Equality
While you might not like your children equally, it is best that you give each an equal inheritance. If for one reason or another you choose not to, make sure you have a meeting with all of them and explain why one child gets more than the other.
2. Handle Personal Property Yourself
Generally, gift your personal property equally among the beneficiaries. However, if you decide to give one of the kids an item, hold a meeting with the kids first to make sure all of them are happy with your decision. This can avoid a lot of litigation later on.
3. Keep Track of Any Loans
Take time and know what loans you have and keep track of all of them. List the loans that require to be paid back and indicate this in the document. You can deduct the amount of the loan from the inheritance before you write the will.
4. Offer Proof of a Sound Mind
A common attack on a trust or will is lack of capacity on the part of the person who created the will. If any benefactor contests the will on the grounds of having been prepared under unsound mind, it might be invalidated. This can come up if you are disinheriting a benefactor or if you are distributing the estate unequally.
5. Appoint a Trustee
Most people entrust the role of the trustee to a child or a family member. If you can afford it, appoint a corporate trustee for this role. For this, there is little or no infighting among the children.
6. Be Clear about Your Actions
If you intend to disinherit a daughter or son, you need to spell it out in the will clearly according to the rules of the state. State clearly that you are of sound mind and you are acting intentionally. Don’t give a reason why you are doing so because it can bring up the basis for challenging your action.
7. Start Early
Don’t wait until you are on your deathbed to make the will or trust. Instead, start early enough to handle arising issues. Many will challenge the will on the basis of being of unsound mind.
8. Have a List Of All You Own
Make a list of all your properties. Don’t forget to include those that run on joint ownership, such as companies and real estate property. Place a value on each property so that the trustee has all information at hand.
9. Work With Experts
Take time and find a lawyer to represent you in any litigation cases. The legal requirements for estate litigation vary from state to state, therefore make sure the lawyer you appoint knows what the law requires of him in the state. For instance, if you stay in Sugar Land, look for Estate Litigation Lawyers serving Sugar Land, Houston to assist you.
10. Protect your Assets
While still strong and healthy, take time to protect your assets from frivolous lawsuits that might bring up issues with the handling of the estate.
Protecting your estate takes a lot of efforts from you and the family. Take time to understand what you need to do in order to have a smooth process when the time comes.