Estate Disputes: 4 Ways to Reduce Stress and Prevent Family Conflicts – Estate disputes may often erupt after a parent, or a family member dies and it’s time to divide the assets of an estate. As a result, these fights may turn into costly emotional and financial battles. Thankfully, for families who want to avoid this type of drama and reduce stress in an already difficult time, there are steps that can help resolve these issues more quickly. Below we will look at some of the most effective strategies you can try.
Ensure Proper Estate Planning
The first step you can take occurs before the estate owner’s death and it involves clearly outlining the division of property and ensuring that an estate plan is appropriately validated and witnessed. This way, families can prevent unwanted disagreements, and if a parent decides to divide property unequally, the will can state the reasoning to avoid estate disputes. In addition, it may be helpful for parents to add letters of instruction to their estate planning documentation. As a result, this can provide a better understanding of the reasons why assets were divided the way they were, which will avoid hurt feelings between family members.
Seek Legal Advice
In some cases, it may be best to enlist the help of expert contentious probate solicitors, such as Hugh James. They can help family members understand their rights as beneficiaries and resolve estate disputes and contentious probate issues, such as contesting a will, if necessary. Thanks to their extensive experience, their team can help you deal with a wide range of claims and threats against estates, supporting you every step of the way. The aim is to resolve contentious probate disputes quickly and cost-effectively so that you can prevent family conflicts.
Identify Fair Ways to Divide Items
At times, you may find that disputes occur not because of the financial value of assets, but because of their sentimental value. Therefore, it’s important to identify ways of dividing household items, such as taking turns to choose items. Family members can agree on a specific order and go through the home to claim pieces until everything has been claimed. Any remaining items can be sold in an estate sale and the proceeds can be divided. Also, you may want to write down the disagreed-upon items on paper and use a lottery system to divide them.
The problem may also lie in the value of the assets. For example, if one person is given the family home, it may be worth more than the assets given to the other. This can be difficult to resolve, especially in estates that lack a will or trust, as you might not be able to find a way to divide the assets in a fair way. As a result, you may want to consider liquidating the assets. If all parties agree to this solution, the value of the assets can easily be divided.
Sorting out an estate, especially when there isn’t a will can be full of challenges and problems, so it’s important to take steps to minimise stress and negative emotions.