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Probate and Estate Disputes Archives

Where there's a will . . . there's a disgruntled relative

Some estate administrators face extraordinary challenges administering the estates they oversee. Battles among heirs can erupt and factions can form among the survivors. A relative who is left out of the estate proceeds can challenge the will and delay the probate process as the case wends its way through the court system.

Removing a trustee may benefit a trust

Many people include trusts in their estate planning to include their loved ones and descendants in their wealth more easily. Trusts can handle large assets in more manageable ways than simply leaving them to heirs in wills. Assets in trusts can be more useful and less liable to excessive taxation.

4 reasons to challenge a will

Your mother's will feels like a punch in the gut. You find out, without any prior warning, that 90 percent of the family estate is going to your brother. That includes a family home, a vacation home, two cars and a nice lump sum of money that can be used to fund an early retirement.

Do you have the right to contest the will?

When a loved one dies, sometimes relatives are shocked to learn that they have been left out of the will. While their feelings of anger and confusion can be completely understandable, people have the right to do as they see fit with their money and possessions, both in life and in death.

What can you do to avoid an inheritance dispute?

You're hoping that the inheritance you leave to your children can be helpful, giving them a better life. But you're worried that, at the same time, it's going to pull the family apart. A dispute can be costly, it can be time-consuming and it can put a rift between your loved ones when they disagree. Sometimes, that rift never heals.

Explaining the responsibilities of a financial power of attorney

A power of attorney is in and of itself a very important document when putting together your estate plan. There is more to it than just naming a power of attorney. If you so choose, you can name a variety of different powers of attorney, one of them being a financial power of attorney. This someone you choose to handle your finances when you become incapacitated or mentally unfit to make decisions.

Why should I update my will and estate documents?

Life is full of surprises and because of those surprises, you should have a will and the accompanying estate documents created as soon as you get your first job out of school. These documents will not only protect you, but also your assets, your family and other possessions when you die. So, why should I update my will and estate documents?

Destroying a will and creating a new one could help your estate

Having a will is an incredibly important part of protecting your estate. As we saw with the Prince estate saga, not having one can create a series of major complications. Additionally, you have to be ready and willing to change your will when the situation calls for it. Getting married, a death in the family, a newborn child -- these are just a few examples of life events that necessitate a change in your will.

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