Money Wars in an Estate Can Stop Your Million-Dollar Inheritance

Let’s start with the positives.

Good estate planning can make it possible for you to inherit millions of dollars. The best estate plans need professional advice and experts to avoid mistakes.

Bad estate planning mistakes can start money wars. And money wars in an estate can cost you your fortune.

Good or Bad Estate Planning – What’s the Difference?

If there is bad or out-of-date estate planning, money wars can start. You may have to defend your inheritance.

If you have been left out of an estate plan, you may have to attack the estate.

Fighting for Your Inheritance Can Be a Tragedy

Courts will freeze the estate until everyone hires lawyers to participate in legal proceedings.

When the estate is frozen, what happens? Beneficiaries cannot benefit from estate assets. Planning to save taxes can be wasted. Everyone’s life is put on hold.

Who Can Challenge a Will? The A-Z List

Anyone with a financial interest in the estate can challenge the will. This includes any person with a financial interest. Here is an A-to-Z list that includes:

  • All children
  • Beneficiaries who were promised more
  • Common-law partners who are left out
  • Dependants needing support
  • Ex-spouses with rights
  • Fraudsters looking to score
  • Girlfriends, boyfriends, best friends
  • Homemade wills that are not clear
  • Investors in business
  • Jungle jumpers hoping to jump into money
  • Kooks from A-Z
  • Lovers of all kinds
  • Married spouses with options
  • Normal relatives wanting part of the action
  • Obligations that you forgot
  • People looking for payback
  • Quick buck artists
  • Robbers of graves and banks
  • Step children – why not?
  • Tax departments (no explanation required)
  • Unnamed beneficiaries with broken promises
  • Victims of abuse
  • Wives or husbands with no IOUs
  • X-friends
  • Your pet care providers
  • Zillionaires who can never have enough

Why Money Wars in Estates are Different

Any contested estate is frozen. It can be depleted by legal costs. Neutral estate trustees may be appointed to manage the estate. They need a separate set of lawyers.

Wills made giving you a million-dollar inheritance can be contested. Courts can cancel wills.

Reasons Courts Can Cancel Wills

  1. The person making the will did not have testamentary capacity
  2. The person was under undue influence from others
  3. Mistakes made in the will can invalidate it
  4. the will fails to meet the legal formalities for signing

What if your inheritance depends on a will made under suspicious circumstances?

Your inheritance may be at risk until a court is satisfied.

Forcing a Round Peg into a Square Hole

That’s what it can feel like if you must fight for your inheritance in court.

What can you do instead? Consider mediation.

Mediation uses impartial third-party mediators. You can benefit with private and early options to resolve estate disputes.

Mediation (not meditation) is less expensive than going to trial.

Defensive Estate Planning

You should crash test any wills that give you an inheritance. Be prepared to defend your million-dollar inheritance.

Need an estate lawyer? Estate Law is all I do. Contact me.