Avoiding inheritance disputes from the beginning

Published 31 Dec 2013

In any will, there is always the chance that family members will find that the amounts and assets left to certain individuals won’t accurately reflect the relationship he or she had with the deceased.

When these inheritance disputes arise, it’s best to get in touch with contesting wills lawyers who can help resolve the conflict and ensure anyone who feels they may have been mistreated in the will receives the proper amount.

However, if not done properly, settling these disputes can lead to long and messy court battles that create rifts in families that may never fully heal. One of the best ways to prevent this from happening is by lowering the chances that your will could be misconstrued in the first place.

According to wealth planning expert Troy Palmer, this all starts with the first draft of your will. When sitting down to create the document, it’s important to have a strong grasp of all items you wish to leave behind.

For example, if you want to leave your entire estate to your two children, it will take a little more planning than simply dividing up the assets in half. Mr Palmer explained it’s crucial to try to see how an inheritance could be perceived from the eyes of the beneficiary.

“If your children are minors when you pass away, what age should they take control of the assets?” Mr Palmer questioned.

“If they take control of their inheritance at 25 years old, should the assets go into their own name or continue in a trust so if they’re married or in a de facto relationship and that breaks down there’s a better level of protection?”

Finding a specialist

Mr Palmer asserted the utter importance of finding a legal team that has extensive experience in handling wills and all the complexities that go along with them.

“Get a professional who has expertise in that area. A lot of our work is created if a plan hasn’t been properly implemented – unwinding all the issues that haven’t been done correctly in the first place,” he stated.

Similarly, if the need to contest a will does arise it’s important to find lawyers who have a strong track record of working with family provision claims and other inheritance issues to help resolve all problems.

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