We all work hard to accumulate wealth through investments, buying homes, stocks, and shares. These assets pass over to our beneficiaries after we pass on. When there is more than one survivor and the family relationships were strained at the time of death, there is a likelihood that there will be feuds over who gets what among the assets.
There are a few things that you can do to de-escalate the family feuds before they get on the court floor. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Seek legal advice as soon as the dispute starts
According to Hobbs Giroday Barristers & Solicitors, estate litigation is a complex area of law that requires both skill in mediation and an intimate knowledge of estate and family law dynamics. An ideal move would be to seek legal advice from estate litigation lawyers without necessarily going to court. A lawyer will know the intricacies of the matter at hand saving you both the time and cost that comes with court cases.
Do not exclude any beneficiaries from your will
If you have a possible heir that has been cut out of the will, there is a high chance that he or she will end up challenging the will. While you do not have to treat your children equally, each of them should inherit part of the estate. Even if you may have reasons for denying inheritance to one of them, allocate something to prevent a feud.
Create a conducive environment for discussion
Most of the family feuds result from a breakdown in communication. It is important to let all the stakeholders in the inheritance tussle air out their grievances and find a common ground. You can get a mediator to help both parties achieve this objective.
Collect adequate evidence for a court case
If the family feud ends up in court, make sure you have evidence that supports your position. Oral testimony is not enough. Judges make decisions based on the evidence presented and the law. Obtain written documents, recorded oral statements and any other evidence to increase the chances of the jury ruling in your favour.
Wherever possible, solve the inheritance issues without going to court. Determine what issues are causing differences among the beneficiaries and try to strike a common ground. Failing that, seek the judgment of the court.