Estate Planning Attorneys Help Clients Avoid Disputes Over Property And Assets

Mar 13 07:47 2012 Kerry Peck Print This Article

Avoiding inheritance disputes: Find out how hiring an estate attorney that specializes in elder law can minimize the chances of Wills and Trusts being subject to courtroom contention.

There are special circumstances that make estate planning more complex that usual. Whether it's due to extensive amounts of property,Guest Posting multiple heirs or an unusual request regarding the distribution of assets, having estate attorneys guide clients through the legal process of leaving an inheritance can stop any disputes before they even start.

Many estate attorneys will give their clients some very practical advice, and the following outlines the information that is considered to be the most important.

Hire Estate Attorneys Now To Avoid Litigation Lawyers Later

One of the most common causes of disputes over Wills and Trusts that prompt beneficiaries to hire a litigation lawyer is the notion they have been treated unfairly when it comes to their share of an inheritance. A professionally drafted Will or Trust can legally protect a deceased one's final wishes, with the exception that some Wills can be contested in the courts. This is why it is especially important to hire an experienced professional who specializes in elder law to draft any documents pertaining to inheritances.

Having a clause within a Will or Trust that specifies that heirs are to divide the assets amongst themselves can be another cause for courtroom showdowns. Even if it was the intention of the testator to avoid perpetuating the idea of favoritism by leaving specific possessions to certain beneficiaries, this tactic is known to cause more grief than good. In an effort to minimize the chances of a litigation lawyer becoming involved in the dispute, many estate attorneys advise their clients to divide their assets themselves and select which heirs receive which items, and how much each one is entitled to.

Intentional disinheritances should always be included in a Will or a Trust. Although it may be a tough decision to make, specifying individuals that they do not wish to inherit their property can leave little to no room for argument when it comes to the benefactor's property and possessions. This is a very important measure to take - it not only protects the assets that are at stake, but also all of the other beneficiaries involved.

Avoiding Conflicts Of Interest

One rule to follow is to hire separate attorneys for each individual included in the planning process. This is the easiest way to avoid accusations that the lawyer may be favoring one person over others. While it may sound great in theory to have a group estate attorney that works on behalf of an entire family or set of beneficiaries, the fact is, it can lead to a whole new set of problems. Investing in a private estate attorney right away can limit the need for litigation lawyers down the road.

In addition to retaining private counsel, clients should also consider hiring an executor outside of the family or group that will be inheriting property. Designating an heir to be the sole executor can quickly become a conflict of interest. Any charges of abuse of power can quickly be dismissed when the executor has no personal stake in their position.

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About Article Author

Kerry Peck
Kerry Peck

Peck Bloom, LLC specializes in elder law in Chicago. If you would like to consult with our team of estate attorneys in Chicago regarding protecting assets, drafting Wills and Trusts or other aspects of planning for the future, or for an experienced Chicago litigation lawyer, contact Peck Bloom for a free consultation today.

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