Effective Estate Planning Without Litigation
Many attorneys can prepare wills and trusts, but most attorneys are ill equipped to set your will or trust up in a manner that eliminates or minimizes conflicts within your own family. A common question or statement is "my family would never fight over an estate issue." Estate conflicts are normal and arise due to one person's loss or gain is another person's gain or loss. Thus, certain family members feel entitled to an inheritance or feel that they were wronged when they do not get their inheritance.
One effective estate planning tool to avoid litigation is privacy. When documents are public and within the public domain, it is difficult to avoid litigation in many cases. Wills are typical examples of documents that are public record. Wills are commonly litigated because one person is hurt by their lack of inheritance. Typically, this person was disinherited or feels that their sibling buttered their mother or father up and coerced them into signing their will and assets over to this person.
A Revocable Living Trust is a document where you prepare in an attorney's office and it is a private document. The only people who are entitled to see this document are the beneficiaries. Privacy is important in reducing disputes because unlike Wills, which must be probated, a half-way smart attorney would not send an heir that may dispute the validity of the document a certified letter from an attorney. In many cases, when a person gets a certified letter from an attorney, they hire an attorney. This attorney advises his or her client that they have a case. Hence, litigation arises.
Another way to avoid litigation is set up your estate plan with these conflicts in mind. A good estate planning attorney will anticipate disputes because they hear common and uncommon estate concerns. Thus, it is difficult to anticipate a will contest if you do not recognize a potential conflict. A good estate planning attorney is necessary to achieve your giving goals in a cost effective manner.
Sean L. Robertson, Attorney at Law
Robertson Law Group, LLC
Serving Cook, DuPage, & Will Counties
w) 312-498-6080 or f) 312-377-2480
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