The Letter of the Law

How to Avoid Estate Litigation for Your Parent's Estate

For many families, estates are difficult to manage. In fact, many family members find themselves in court after the death of a loved one because they did not plan their estate well enough to prevent the family from facing many issues. Litigation can be difficult, so you might want to take steps now to avoid problems in the future. If you are afraid that your mother or father's estate will face litigation in the future, these are steps you can take together.

First, Discuss the Will

Your parent should have a written will. The document will spell out his or her wishes and authorize somebody to act as the executor of the will. Everything should be in writing to ensure that everybody receives the assets they are owed. The will should also be validated by an attorney so that it is less likely to go to litigation based on the fact that it is a valid document.

Talk About Life Insurance

Life insurance is a helpful tool for many families. You can talk to your parents about purchasing life insurance to help provide for the basic needs of family members after they are gone. They can also ensure that they have the costs of their funeral covered by life insurance if they put everything in order ahead of time. Now is also a good time to discuss your parent's beneficiaries together so that there are no surprises after he or she passes. Everybody should know what to expect to avoid a legal battle after he or she passes.

Discuss Establishing a Power of Attorney

Your parent should also select an individual to operate on their behalf if they are no longer to handle their estate. The power of attorney is established in somebody who can be responsible to manage your parent's legal and financial situation if they become incapacitated. Your parent can also appoint somebody to take care of their medical affairs. These can be delegated to different people. Ensure that your parent has made this designation in writing to ensure that your family avoids painful, drawn-out litigation later.

Hire an Attorney If Something Goes Wrong

After your parent passes away, you may need an attorney who specializes in this kind of legal matter. You may have a strong case based on the fact that you are listed in the will, but something may be preventing you from accessing the estate. An attorney can help.

For more information, contact an estate litigation law firm.