While wills and trusts may appear rather confusing and more effort than they’re worth, they are invaluable tools to avoid probate court. These documents may also save your loved ones and beneficiaries from litigation over possessions, land, and assets. A trust will help to keep any arrangements clear.
In truth, you should try to avoid probate litigation because not only can the process be costly, it can also be time consuming and damaging to personal relationships. Although litigation may resolve a dispute, the parties pay in other costs, that include spending valuable time away from work and family. The court case could actually cost more than the amount you’re fighting over. For this reason, we recommend that you avoid probate litigation and here are some tips on how:
Call a Professional – The best way to avoid litigation is to consult with a professional and ensure that all your documents are legally binding and enforceable should the worst happen. For example, your some wills don’t hold up after the person passes away. This could be because it was not properly executed or because some changes call into question the validity of the will. So calling The Law Firm of James A. Robles will ensure that the documents are proper according to Arizona law and enforceable.
Mediation – If a family member has passed away, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go to court over the will. Instead, you could attend a mediation meeting where both parties attempt to find a middle ground. Although this will still cost money, the cost will be insignificant to the bill that would come with a court case.
Objective Opinion – In continuation of the previous point, always try and get an objective opinion of the scenario. If this isn’t something you can do yourself, get a professional or a third-party who has no involvement in the will, trust, or estate. By doing this, they could find a middle ground that both parties had been blind to.
‘In Terrorem’ Clause – If you want to avoid litigation with your will or trust, add an in terrorem clause which means that anybody who objects will immediately sacrifice their gift. Of course, this clause isn’t worthwhile if the gift is small but will act as a deterrent if the gift is large enough.
Capacity Test – After getting a major document drawn up, get a capacity test from your doctor as this will let everyone know that you were of sound mind when making the decisions. Then, it will be harder for anyone to contest it because there is no way anyone can use your state of mind as an excuse.
Professional Mediated Meeting – With wills, trusts and estate plans, this can be a great way to go about things because it allows family and friends to stay in the loop in a professional forum. Rather than gathering everyone at your house, the recipients and beneficiaries will all be in the same room whilst in the presence of lawyers and other professionals.
So there we have it, some simple tips to avoid litigation. As long as you keep these in mind, you and those around you can stay clear of this costly exercise.