Avoid the strain and financial losses that contested wills can cause.
Contentious probate claims are a type of legal dispute that can happen when people don't agree about how to divide a deceased person's estate. It can be very upsetting and can cause long legal battles that can harm relationships and use up estate resources. In this article, we will look at why these disputes happen and what can be done to avoid them.
One common reason for contentious probate claims is when someone feels that the estate's assets have been unfairly distributed. This can happen when one person gets more than another, and the one who received less may feel cheated. For example, if a parent leaves a bigger share of the estate to one child, the other child may feel that it's not fair. Similarly, if a spouse or partner is left out of the will altogether, they may feel hurt and seek legal action to claim a share of the estate.
Another reason for contentious probate claims is when the will doesn't accurately reflect the deceased's wishes. This can happen if the will was created under pressure, or if the deceased was not in the right mind when the will was created. For example, if a family member is forced to change their will by someone else, it can cause a dispute. Similarly, if the deceased had dementia or another mental illness when the will was created, there may be questions about their ability to make sound decisions.
A third reason for contentious probate claims is when the executor of the estate has acted improperly or in their own interests. This can happen when the executor is biased or has a conflict of interest. For example, if the executor is also a beneficiary of the estate or has a close relationship with one of the beneficiaries, it can raise questions about their fairness. Similarly, if the executor takes actions that aren't in the best interest of the estate, such as selling assets at below market value, it can cause a dispute.
To avoid contentious probate claims, it's important to make sure that the will accurately reflects the deceased's wishes and that the distribution of assets is fair and clear. This can include involving all beneficiaries in the creation of the will, being transparent about any differences in the distribution of assets, and selecting an unbiased executor who is not a beneficiary of the estate. Additionally, it's important to make sure that the will is created when the deceased is in the right mind and witnessed and signed by people who are not beneficiaries.
In conclusion, contentious probate claims can cause a lot of stress and financial strain. By taking steps to ensure that the will is fair and clear, it's possible to avoid these disputes. Seek professional legal advice and guidance when creating a will to ensure that it's legally sound and to avoid any potential disputes in the future.
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