Attorney Explains Strategies to Avoid Family Disputes in Estate Planning
Brandon, FL (Law Firm Newswire) June 19, 2014 -
Avoiding surprises may be the most important step in minimizing inheritance disputes among family members.
Dealing with the passing of a family member can be a stressful experience – one which does not always
bring out the best in survivors. When money (in the form of asset inheritance) is added to the mix, bitter conflicts sometimes rise up between family members dealing with difficult emotions.
Probate attorney O. Reginald Osenton says that when heirs are taken by surprise at how the decedent's assets are to be distributed, they are more likely to create conflict. “If there is any chance that your estate plan and asset distribution will come as a surprise to any of your heirs, the time to fill them in is now,” Osenton said. “This gives them an opportunity to air their concerns or, at the very least, to get used to the reality of the situation.”
Osenton explained that it is not unusual for an estate plan to leave the bulk of an individual's assets to
charity or to a lover or caregiver who was only lately a part of the decedent's life. If these decisions
only come to light after death, heirs may draw out the proceedings in probate court.
“If an heir feels slighted, he or she might mount a legal challenge to the validity of the decedent's will.
Depending on the particulars of the case, that challenge may or may not go anywhere, but it can certainly slow down the distribution of assets -- contrary to the wishes of the decedent. Taking the surprise out of the situation helps minimize conflict.”
Osenton Law Office, PA
500 Lithia Pinecrest Road
Brandon, Florida 33511
Call: (813) 654-5777
- Despite decline, Tampa leads big cities in foreclosures
A recent report on national foreclosure statistics paints an improving, but still unfortunate, picture for Tampa, Florida, homeowners. First, the good news. The Tampa-St. Petersburg metropolitan area has seen a 23 percent decline in home foreclosures in the past year — one of the largest decreases among large U.S. cities. Now, the bad news. Despite […]
- Woman’s handwritten note insufficient to revoke will
The heirs of a deceased New York woman received an object lesson in the importance of taking proper, legally enforceable action when altering a will. Some years before Patricia Powers died, she apparently wished to revoke her existing will entirely, and attempted to do so by writing a note to that effect on the will’s […]
- Chapter 13 can help those saddled with student loan debt
A recent story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette highlights an increasingly common strategy for dealing with unmanageable student loan debt: Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you have student loans, you may already be aware that those debts cannot be discharged under Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation except in very limited cases. Under Chapter 13 reorganization, however, debtors agree […]