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Use a Trust to Avoid Disputes

If you know that your family is likely to fight over your estate, you can limit the fight greatly, by using a trust instead of a will.

Many family fights over estates are predictable. People know when their family members do not get along and are likely to fight over their inheritances. They know that “unequal” inheritances are more likely to trigger trouble, too.

When it comes to estate planning, it is important to understand that those fights quite often result in protracted court cases over the estate. This is especially true, if the main instrument used to distribute the estate is a will that has to go through probate by its very legal nature. Some of this mayhem may be avoided by using a trust instead as the Times Herald-Record discusses in "Trusts avoid inheritance disputes among family members."

Since trusts do not go through probate, there is no open probate case for family members to easily file a claim. That in and of itself makes a trust much less likely to lead to litigation. It is also easier to use the trust document itself to create language making family fights less likely. Even if there are fights, an independent trustee can often referee those fights and thus avoid any litigation.

It is nearly impossible to completely guarantee that no family fight will ever occur over an estate. An estate planning attorney can help make those fights much less likely, by creating a good trust.

Reference: Times Herald-Record (April 5, 2018) "Trusts avoid inheritance disputes among family members."

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