How Contested Estates Cost Families More Than Money

Not everyone does comprehensive estate planning to avoid contested estates with a Lincolnshire estate planning lawyer. That can cause someone to contest the estate. Some of those issues are about money and property and cause family discord.

Learn about contested estates below and how to avoid these problems. Have questions about your estate? Talk to a Lincolnshire estate planning lawyer today.

Why Are There Contested Estates?

While most wills go through probate without issues, it is wise to do proper estate planning to ensure the will and estate are not contested. If they do, it will take longer and cost more. Plus, a contested state can damage family relationships that have negative consequences for years.

Fortunately, there are proven ways with estate planning to avoid most contested estates. Review your estate plan with your attorney and talk to him about these steps:

Write A Letter Of Intent

Do you want to leave someone out of your will? Or are you leaving someone less than the expected share of money and property? Compose a letter of intent to the executor of your estate. State why you are leaving that person nothing.

It is helpful to provide as much detail as possible to explain why you want your assets handled in this manner. Have your attorney review the letter of intent, as well.

Add A No Contest Clause To Prevent Contested Estates

Adding a no-contest clause in your will means if someone challenges it, they will not get anything. Many estate planning lawyers in Illinois recommend leaving a small gift they would lose if they challenge your will. This can avoid a contested estate that causes family disharmony.

Tape The Signing Of The Will

An advantage of modern technology is it is easy to do a video recording of the will signing. This proves that the will was signed with you in your right mind and that it was done voluntarily. Also, you can describe in your own spoken words why you are distributing the estate assets in this way.

Do Not Use The Will To Transfer Property

The best way to avoid a contested estate is to avoid probate. You can often avoid the probate court if you give away property while still alive. Also, put your real estate in a trust and designate beneficiaries for your property, accounts, and even vehicles.

Contact A Lincolnshire Estate Planning Lawyer Now

Losing a loved one is always upsetting, but add a contested estate on top of the loss, and things get even worse. With effective estate planning, you and your family can avoid financial and legal disputes, and the assets can be passed to beneficiaries without problems. Plus, family disagreements over money and property are avoided.

Orlowsky & Wilson has more than 30 years of experience helping Lincolnshire families plan their estates. Our attorneys also work with estate planning clients in Lake County, Chicago, Libertyville, Northbrook, Gurnee, Glenview, Grayslake, Lake Zurich, Lake Forest, Buffalo Grove, Vernon Hills, Highland Park, Wilmette, Deerfield, Arlington Heights, and Wilmette. Contact our Lincolnshire estate planning attorneys at (847) 325-5559 if you need legal advice.

Updated as of July 2019
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