Posted: Friday, 29 November 2019 @ 09:26
From my experience of dealing with probate disputes the most effective way to stop them arising is quite simple (though in fact difficult to achieve) which is to pre-empt the dispute arising.
What that specifically means is that the elderly relative/person whose estate will be argued about take proactive steps to minimise the chances of a dispute arising later.
This includes the following steps being taken:
- Drawing up a straightforward will which minimise the chance of a dispute arising.
- Making the right call regarding the appointing of executors. A bad call would be to appoint relatives who do not get on. This can be like rocket fuel to any dispute.
- Making the right call as to doing a Lasting Power of Attorney. (The last thing you want to do is to give a LPA power to a potentially greedy relative.) Monies are taken out before you die.
- If necessary, speaking directly to the family members and saying your wishes and putting them in writing.
- Recording early distributions/documenting them to minimise any misunderstandings later.
This is all very obvious but people often fall short in implementing these steps as they are worried about falling out with family members during their lifetimes and that is the crux of the problem.
To resolve this you may very well require the help of a trusted advisor who can blend professionalism with assertiveness and sensitivity.