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Common Causes of Will Disputes

August 10, 2020 CSBB Blog

When preparing their will, people rarely consider what may happen when disputes arise. Unfortunately, will disputes are common and can be devastating for your family and other loved ones. Will disputes can become incredibly time-consuming and expensive, eating up precious resources and leaving your beneficiaries emotionally exhausted. Understanding what causes most will disputes can help you avoid them later on. Whether you are currently embroiled in a will dispute or simply looking ahead, an experienced Palm Beach County will contest attorney can help you navigate these challenges. 

Ambiguity in Your Will

One of the most common sources of disputes are wills that are poorly drafted. Without a doubt, lawyers can be expensive. People often try to avoid the dispute by drafting their own wills or using forms they obtained from the internet. Unfortunately, self-drafted and form wills are often unclear, leaving room for debate as to your actual intent. This can lead to disputes over how assets are to be distributed, even if there is no malicious intent. 

The same concern can apply if you have made multiple updates or revisions to your will. It is very easy for documents to get lost or for someone to claim that the will admitted to probate is not the most recent version. If you have made multiple changes to your will, we recommend that you consult with an experienced estate planning lawyer to ensure that your will and other estate planning documents are in order. 

Treating Children Differently

Conflicts often arise whenever a will gives preference to one member of the family over another, particularly when they are your children. For example, conflict is likely to arise if your youngest child receives a greater inheritance than your oldest or your step-children are given preference over your natural children.

Family dynamics and history will play a significant role here. You should give careful consideration to your children’s personalities and their future. For example, if you gave considerable financial support to one child to start a business that is now quite successful, other children may be resentful that he or she receives an equal inheritance as others who did not receive financial support while you were living. 

Family Division and Excluded Family Members

Long-running family conflicts have a tendency to flare up while navigating the probate process. Sibling rivalries, estranged relatives, and other dysfunctional relationships can suddenly become problematic when distributing the assets of your estate. This is especially true if you have excluded certain family members from your will. Multiple marriages can also create a lot of conflict for a variety of reasons but often involve unresolved resentment. 

Contact a Palm Beach County Will Contest Attorney Today

Whether you are in the middle of a probate dispute or are trying to plan for the future, the will contest attorneys at Comiter, Singer, Baseman, & Braun have the knowledge and experience to help you navigate this situation. As leaders in estate planning who work with clients across the state of Florida, our attorneys provide in-depth solutions from relatively simple will disputes to sophisticated estate litigation. Contact us online or call us at 561-626-2101 or toll-free at 800-226-1484 to discuss your case and how we can help. 

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