Naperville Estate Planning Lawyer on How to Minimize Potential Inheritance Arguments

arguments, Naperville estate planning attorneyExperts estimate that an astounding $30 trillion will be inherited in the next 30 years. While the majority of these transactions will take place without any issues, some of this money will inevitably be argued over. When estate plans are not clear or heirs feel that their inheritance is unfair, a lengthy legal battle can ensue over inheritance rights. As an estate planning attorney, I often get questions from clients about how to prevent heirs from fighting over their inheritances. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to reduce the likelihood of serious disagreements.

Have Continuing Communication Regarding Estate Plans

Older adults should not procrastinate discussing finances, estate planning, and health concerns with their adult children. Michael Fuhr, CFP of SageVest Wealth Management, puts it this way, “It’s never too early for a parent to begin these discussions, but often it’s too late, due to illness, incapacity, or even death.” Aging parents should have honest, frequent communication with their grown children so that there is no confusion as to the parents’ wishes. Not only does open conversation about the future help older parents ensure that their final wishes will be fulfilled, but it also keeps adult children in the loop about what they can reasonably expect to inherit. This can help them make informed financial decisions and prevents them from overestimating future inheritance and making hasty financial decisions as a result.

Consider Using a Trust to Avoid Probate

When someone with a will passes away, his or her last will and testament must be verified in a court process called probate. Those individuals included in the will must be informed of this process and will have the opportunity to contest or challenge the will if they do not believe it is an accurate representation of the deceased’s desires. If you are worried that there will be a dispute over your final wishes, you may want to consider using a trust instead of a will. Trusts do not go through probate court, and no one is formally notified when the trust is being settled. In many circumstances, trusts can save time and money while minimizing the chance that heirs will argue.

Get Professional Help

If you have a complicated estate situation, it is not advisable that you make estate decisions without professional guidance. Estate documents which are not properly prepared are vulnerable to being contested or even disregarded. A Naperville estate planning attorney can help you understand which estate planning tools best fit your unique circumstances and goals and then effectively implement them. Call 630-756-1160 to schedule a confidential consultation at The Gierach Law Firm today.