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How testators can keep their families from fighting over an estate

On Behalf of | Apr 14, 2024 | Estate Planning

When someone dies, it is standard for most or all of their property to pass to their family members. If someone in Nevada dies without an estate plan, their closest family members are likely to have inheritance rights. The average estate plan also involves someone arranging for their loved ones to receive as much of their property as possible.

Unfortunately, sometimes family members develop an inappropriate sense of entitlement. One child might think they deserve more of the estate than others or might expect to receive the same inheritance as their siblings despite being estranged from a parent. The fights that break out between beneficiaries after someone dies can do permanent damage to their relationships. The conflict related to estate administration could also reduce the value of the estate because of expensive litigation.

How can someone who is putting together or reviewing an estate plan deter their loved ones from fighting over their resources?

With special estate planning moves

There are several different tactics that testators can utilize to prevent their loved ones from fighting over their property. A no-contest clause could strip someone of their inheritance if they initiate probate litigation by contesting the will. Trusts can also be useful as they keep assets out of probate court and are often harder to challenge than basic wills. Some people even arranged to have assets transferred to beneficiaries while they are still alive or immediately after their death as a way of preventing their loved ones from fighting over their resources in probate court.

With clear communication

Estate litigation is often the result of unmet expectations. Therefore, testators can deter lawsuits by clarifying what people can expect from their estates. Talking openly with family members about how someone intends to split up resources among their children or their desire to set some resources aside for charitable contributions can reduce the likelihood of people feeling disappointed and suing after someone dies. Although discussions about estate planning and inheritances can be uncomfortable initially, they can give people clear expectations and may help to preserve family relationships after someone dies.

Approaching the estate planning process with an eye on conflict minimization can be a smart move. Testators with unusual family situations and valuable property may particularly need to think about the chances of their loved ones fighting over their estates, and take steps to mitigate those risks accordingly.

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