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probate litigation Archives

Probate isn't an evil word in estate planning

Probate is sometimes treated like the evil stepmother of estate planning, but that's a misconstrued perspective. Probate, in reality, is just part of the estate administration process. How much probate litigation impacts your estate in the end depends on how well you planned, how big your estate is and how your heirs accept -- or don't accept -- your wishes. Here are a few reasons probate isn't always something to fear.

Set strong estate goals to minimize probate litigation

No one wants to see their legacy be trickled away through the expense of a drawn-out probate battle. One way that you can reduce the risks of expensive probate litigation for your heirs is to work with an estate attorney to set strong goals and follow through with equally strong estate planning. Following are some tips for setting goals.

How can you appoint a guardian for your children?

The last thing any parent wants to think about is what happens in the case of an untimely death. A young child without a guardian can end up in the foster care system, which is something many parents want to avoid. How can you make sure your child gets taken care of if you or your child's other parent aren't able to? Arrange guardianship now.

Beginning probate: You don't have to do this alone

When it's time to transfer a decedent's property after death, a process called probate begins. This process is fairly straightforward, but there are many steps to the process that must be performed in order. For instance, if there is a will, it's reviewed. The property of that person is collected. Debts are paid, and then the property that remains is distributed as required by the will or by law. None of this can happen in any other order than allowed by the courts.

What is probate litigation, and how can it help me?

If your loved one recently passed away, you want to remember that person in a positive light. Your family is suffering, and you are grieving as well. The last thing you want to do is to cause a stir, but if the will of the deceased isn't fair or has changed suddenly from what it was in the past, you may feel the need to contest it.

How can I reduce the chance of inheritance conflict in my family?

Reducing the chances of an inheritance conflict after you have died should be of paramount concern during the planning of any California estate. Indeed, a death in a family can be the impetus for even the friendliest of relations to turn sour if one or more family member feels that he or she was unfairly treated by your will and asset distribution plan. In other cases, it might not have anything to do with your estate plan, but more to do with past emotional scars that the pain and loss of a beloved family member can re-open. This article will discuss some strategies that estate planners can employ to reduce the chance of family conflict following your death.

Daughters file suit regarding 'Soft Kitty' nursery school song

A few weeks ago, we discussed how important it is to select the right trustee to manage your assets in case you are incapacitated or to honor your wishes after you are gone. Choosing executors and trustees is definitely important, but so is leaving those individuals all the tools and information they need to protect your legacy and divide your assets according to your wishes. One recent story, involving a lawsuit, a children's song and a famous television show, illustrates this point well.

Non-will and trust estate elements

We've talked a lot about wills and trusts recently, but there are other elements of both the estate planning and estate administration processes that should be considered. From powers of attorney to basic beneficiary designations, it's important to understand how your legal estate plans interact with issues of finance and health.

Presenting a case for breach of fiduciary duty

If you decide to make trusts a part of your estate process, then you are probably going to pick someone as the trustee, or fiduciary, of the trust. That person will be responsible for administering the trust according to any requirements that you provide in writing. Fiduciaries might be professionals in accounting or law or someone from your family or close circle of friends.

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