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Probate and Estate Disputes Archives

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 is 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.

Major decision made in Prince's estate dispute

Can you believe that more than a year has passed since Prince died? During that time, a major dispute came to light over his estate. Prince died without a will -- the legal term for this is dying "intestate" -- and as such, many people came forward to claim that they were rightful heirs to Prince's estate.

On the role of an executor and estate plans

When someone creates their estate plan, the role of executor is one of the most important issues that needs to be decided. The executor of an estate is in charge of ensuring that a person's last wishes are fulfilled as per the will, and that the estate is properly organized and handled. As such, it is a stressful responsibility that an executor takes on, but it can be fulfilling one.

Estate plans and probate: problems can arise

Every family and indeed every individual should build out their estate with a wide range of legal options, such as wills, trusts, and powers of attorney among other potential options. But even though the number of legal options is ultimately finite, there are an infinite number of circumstances that could be involved in any estate plan. No two families will be the same; no two wills will be the same; no two trusts are the same. Each and every estate has to be dealt with individually and addressed in a specific manner.

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