Protect your estate from lawsuits

The Law Office of Jeffrey L. Weinstein

In planning their estates. many people never consider the prospect that their survivors might sue each other over their share of the estate, but that happens more often than not when money is involved. To protect our estate from survivors fighting over a piece of the inheritance pie, here are some ways, when drafting your estate plan, to avoid any unnecessary litigation after your death.

Appoint a trustee. If you feel there could be any problems with your estate after you are gone, you could consider naming a trustee instead of a spouse or a child so any abuse of power claims are not a problem

Have a “no contest” clause. If you add a “no contest” clause to your trust that explicitly spells out that if any beneficiary challenges the trust, they get cut out completely. But here’s the catch. In order to cut someone out, you have to leave them something. So, this means if you plan to disinherit someone who might make legal trouble, you hav to leave them something first before you an take it away.

Establish your mental state. On of the most prevalent challenges to a trust or will is lack of mental capacity. To avoid this pitfall find an independent attorney to interview an create a certificate of independent review that speaks to you being of sound mind and body and knowing what you’e doing. This helps immensely if you are planning on disinheriting someone.

Be specific over disinheritance. If you have a plan to disinherit any of your children you have to spell that out. A good rul of thimb here is that if you plan to disnherit, don’t give a reason since it could lead to a challenge to your will.

Treat all children fairly. A good way to get a challenge to you will is to seem to favor one child over another. This does not mean you have to treat them equally, just fairly. If you do have to favor one over the others(s) spell out the reason why

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Jeffrey L. Weinstein

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