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3 common causes of fights over an estate

Your loved one is getting older, and the last thing you want to see is a family fighting over the inheritances and estate left behind. There are many reasons that people fight over estates. Some disputes come out of nowhere, but it's more likely that they have been brewing for some time.

Here are three common reasons that estate disputes occur and what you can do to avoid them. With some preparation, you can preserve the wishes of your loved one while reducing the risk of conflict.

1. Rivalry

Every family is different, and many have siblings who don't get along or who see each other as rivals. If you know that your father or mother intends to leave behind more for a sister than for the brother, you may want to take steps to ensure your parents are legitimizing that move in writing with witnesses. There should be no question that they intended for the assets to be divided as stated in the will. It should also be shown that the sibling had no undue influence over them.

2. Disinheritance

Those left out of an inheritance because of long-past mistakes or problems with the family might be trigger happy when it comes to filing a lawsuit. They have nothing to lose if they decide to challenge the will. Your parents or loved ones can avoid these types of disputes by updating their trusts regularly.

3. Marriage

If your loved one is getting older and plans to remarry, that can lead others in the family to believe the new wife or husband is looking for an inheritance. Avoid the dispute by creating a clear trust that is updated with information on how assets will be divided upon death.

Estate planning is necessary to help avoid litigation later. It's not necessary for families to go through months or years of litigation over a will or trust. With the right preparation, the decedent's wishes can be fulfilled.

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