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Avoiding Family Disputes During The Probate Process

By Expert Author: Stam Bett

Unfortunately, inheriting property and the probate process itself sometimes brings out the worst in people. While many people handle the process smoothly and follow their loved one's instructions and best as possible and make agreements on the rest, death can stir up long dormant problems and bring up both jealousy and resentment. In fact, this is why many families end up turning to a probate attorney in Miami.

Because surprise is most likely to bring out bad feelings, the best way to avoid family disputes is ensuring the entire family knows the broad outline of how you plan to leave your property and help them understand your choices. This way, they at least have time to get used to the idea and raise any concerns. This also makes it more likely they will respect these decisions and not try to undermine them through a lawsuit or in some informal manner.

Unequal division of assets among offspring is the major cause of conflicts. Most parents choose to leae property and assets to their children in a more or less equal fashion, and there may be many good reasons to differ from this. After all, one child may have issues handling money, or may have already received large gifts in the past. Children who understand the reasoning are more likely to accept decisions, however.

Unfortunately, disputes can arise even if you have a will, and the rights of close relatives to your inheritance may even override your will. That's why it's important to consult with a Miami estate planning attorney before drawing up your plan to avoid problems down the road.

In almost all cases, you cannot cut a surviving spouse out of a will. In community property states, spouses automatically own half of what either spouse earns over the marriage, unless there is a written agreement stating otherwise. Each spouse may do whatever they like with their half share of the property, and with separate property. In other states, there are laws in place to protect spouses from being disinherited, and most states will automatically give the spouse the right to claim 1/3 to 1/2 of the deceased spouse's estate, regardless of what the will says. This is just one example of the limitations of a will, which should be discussed in detail with a probate attorney in Miami.

To help avoid disputes, it's important to choose the executor of your will carefully. Many people assume their oldest child should be the executor, even if the child doesn't seem up to the task. Choose someone you trust who is honest, organized, great at communicating and keeping records because inheritors are less likely to become suspicious or anxious if the executor of your estate keeps them informed.

You should also deal with your attorney independently. If you consult with a Miami estate planning attorney for advice or to draft paperwork, keep this relationship independent of any influence from others. Do not hire a probate lawyer in Miami who has done work for someone you plan to leave money to, and speak with the lawyer alone to freely express your wishes.

Finally, consider adding guidance on any sentimental items. This type of clause will leave your personal possessions and furniture to many people in equal shares, but with no instruction on how it is divided. Be sure to offer guidance here by naming specific items or assigning the division to the executor.

For more information on Ally Glaser and Probate Attorney Miami. Visit Today - http://www.allyglaser.com/faqs.html

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