Estate litigation is costly and time-consuming and can cause life-long enmity among estate beneficiaries. Indeed, many people write wills primarily to avoid unnecessary estate disputes. Still, even the most meticulously crafted will can be a source of dispute and potential litigation if it lacks strong safeguards. Below are common causes of estate litigation and how to prevent conflicts.

Questions Over the Validity of the Will

The most common cause of disputes in estate litigation is disagreements over the validity of the will. If beneficiaries and related parties believe a will is invalid for any reason, they can challenge it in court. Depending on the alleged cause of the dispute, the will may be invalidated if the petitioners prove their case. To avoid this, follow your state’s intestacy laws while drafting the will. 

Breach of Fiduciary Duty

The estate executors and trustees are legally and morally obligated to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries. Allegations of breach of fiduciary duty may arise if any executor fails to fulfill their duty. To prevent a breach of fiduciary duty, select people of unquestionable moral standards as executors. It also helps to appoint people with no direct interest in your estate and who don’t have any relation to the beneficiaries.

Second Marriage

As a rule of thumb, you should update your will after every significant life change, such as a second marriage. This is especially true if kids are involved. A clear and comprehensive consultation with all your children and present and former spouses can help put everyone on the same page. Additionally, work with an experienced estate planning attorney to iron out all legal issues in your will.

Talk to an Estate Litigation Lawyer

Estate litigations are very common. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t avoid them. You only need to follow all the legal requirements to the letter. If you are looking for an experienced estate litigation and probate attorney, look no further than The Williams Litigation Group. Call our offices today and get a free consultation.