It isn’t uncommon for family members to contest a loved one’s will after they pass. This can happen for several reasons. However, some situations are more likely to cause disputes than others.
Knowing what issues can cause a family dispute after you pass away will help you reduce the possibility of this happening – and a simple letter that spells out your intentions and thoughts may also help.
Disputes among siblings
The death of a parent can be emotional and traumatic for children. This is true no matter how old the children are. If assets have not been distributed equitably, then it may lead to fighting among siblings and causing one to contest their parent’s will.
You can reduce the possibility of this happening by creating a letter that tells your children why you divided the assets the way you did. Hopefully, having an explanation will prevent your children from disputing your will.
It’s difficult to determine how to divide your assets if you have children from a current and prior marriage. In this case, having a letter of intent can be beneficial.
With this letter, you can let everyone know why one set of children received financial assets or family items and the others did not. If you fail to take this additional step, your family may be in a heated battle over your will after you pass.
A letter of intent or explanation cannot totally prevent your will from being contested, but it can give the court insight into your thoughts and wishes if one does happen – and that can help preserve your goals. However, it’s wise to remember that you do have other options, like a trust, which can make sure your plans for your estate are preserved.
Speak to a professional to help put in additional safeguards to minimize the potential of your will being contested after you pass.