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(Not) One Big Happy Family: How to Avoid An Inheritance Dispute

Just imagine this scenario:  you are at the end of your long, fulfilling life and surrounded by your family and loved ones. You say your final goodbye and peacefully leave this world. And then… your family declares war on each other.

 

Suddenly, family members are unhappy with the contents of your Will (that’s if you made one) and old rifts between loved ones re-open, possibly never to heal. Unfortunately, inheritance disputes are not just a problem for the rich and famous.

 

So how do these disagreements arise, and more importantly, what can you do now to save your family the tragedy of a dispute over your wealth and estate after your death?

 

There are some factors that can increase the likelihood of disputes including:

 

  • Not making a Will and leaving no clear wishes on how your wealth is to be distributed
  • Blended families
  • Leaving a child out of your Will without explanation
  • An inequitable distribution of your assets
  • A Will that has not been professionally drafted or checked and ambiguously worded
  • Family businesses with no clear succession plan
  • An incomplete estate plan
  • Existing hostilities among family members
  • Lack of communication with your family to let them know your wishes

 

While there is no way to eliminate the possibility of a dispute over your estate, here are 6 tips you can take to reduce the likelihood of a conflict such as:

 

  1. Don’t leave it until the last minute and ensure you make your Will as soon as possible
  2. Use a professional and seek tax advice to create your planning
  3. Establish a pattern of updating your Will and estate plan on a regular basis
  4. If you have a family business, maintain a clear, workable succession plan
  5. Discuss your Will with your beneficiaries
  6. Deal with family dynamics during your lifetime

 

Possibly the most important step you can take to avoid a dispute is to engage the services of an experienced Wills & Estate Planning specialist and obtain professional advice. They can help you put together a plan that addresses all of your needs, while minimising the risk of conflict among your loved ones after your death.

 

You must put in place provisions to protect your business after your death.  As a leading Will Writing and Estate Planning specialist based in Romford, Essex, Strathmore Wills & Estate Planning can advise on how to protect your business and wealth for the next generation.  To find out more please call 01708 923 3030 or email enquiries@strathmorewills.co.uk

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(Not) One Big Happy Family: How to Avoid An Inheritance Dispute