A probate attorney in Sanford North Carolina can explain that litigation can quickly drain the funds of the estate and leave family members at odds. Fortunately, there are several steps that individuals can take to avoid litigation before it ever becomes a possibility. Some suggestions you may hear from a probate attorney in Sanford North Carolina include:
Have a Properly Drafted Will
While there is no guarantee that an heir at law will not contest a last will and testament, having a properly drafted will can help decrease the probability that such a contest will be successful. An estate planning lawyer can help ensure that all legal formalities are carried out. Additionally, he or she can help ensure that all potential, known issues are accounted for in your estate plan.
Much litigation occurs within the probate context. However, there are several ways to avoid probate altogether, also allowing you to avoid probate litigation. Probate assets include property that is owned at the time of death. However, it does not include life insurance proceeds, property in trusts, property owned as joint tenants with the right of survivorship or property transferred at death with a properly executed beneficiary designation form. A probate attorney can help transfer property and establish trusts in order to help you avoid probate.
In some cases, there is confusion after a loved one dies, leading potential heirs to question whether the will or trust really reflected the testator’s wishes. By talking through your preferred plans well before death, much of this confusion can be eliminated.
Talk to a Lawyer
An estate planning lawyer can discuss other strategies that can help you avoid litigation. Additionally, he or she can explain ways that you can protect your assets in case litigation does ensue.