Inheritance disputes happen more often than one might think, primarily because people believe that they're entitled to a loved one's assets. In some cases, they may have been told they'd receive something that they later did not. In other cases, they feel unfairly treated by the decedent.
There are some good ways to prevent disputes like these. Here are a few things to keep in mind to stop a will from becoming a war.
1. Get the right will
To start with, it's likely that the decedent has a will in place. However, there may be disputes over which will is the correct will, especially if one was updated when they had concerns such as dementia or Alzheimer's disease. Make sure you have your loved one's mental health verifications or releases from medical providers to go with the will, so any contests can be stopped.
2. Consider settling
In some instances, it can be hard to imagine that someone is so hurt that they'd take your entire family to court. It's better to settle, even if it means that everyone has to give something up, in most cases. Mediation and arbitration can help resolve conflicts before they drag out into a courtroom.
3. Get information on inheritance laws
Finally, get good information on the state inheritance laws to make sure you know if the people or person complaining about the will have a leg to stand on. If they have no basis to challenge the will, this is helpful in determining if you should get an attorney or let their claim fizzle out.
These are a few things to keep in mind when a will is contested. Families can become angry over the contents of a will, but there are ways to resolve conflicts.