What Are The Most Common Will Disputes?
Wills are one of the most important documents that an asset owner should draft especially during the estate planning process. However, there are a lot of cases in which wills can be the center and root of a dispute. It could be due to improper estate planning or due to any other reason. Therefore, you should to consult an estate planning attorney PG County for the entire process. Here are some of the most common disputes that occur over wills.
Beneficiaries Don’t Want To Sell The Property
Usually, the gist of a will goes something like this: the asset owner, aka the testator of the will, assigns a property, let’s assume a house, to the beneficiaries and declares it to be sold, so that the proceeds can go immediately to the ones needed. Now, this is where a dispute can take place.
A lot of the time, beneficiaries and heirs don’t want to sell a certain property. If it’s a house that they’re living in, then it’s almost impossible to have it sold and get the proceeds.
This is why the testator must discuss these things with the potential beneficiaries beforehand so that the decision can be best suited for everyone involved and there are no major changes or sources of disputes.
The Wrong Drafting Of The Will
This is probably a very common dispute that a lot of lawyers face on a day-to-day basis and that’s the fact that the will was wrongly drafted in the first place. Unfortunately, sometimes, that can be the case.
This is most common if the testator is not discussing things with his/her family and keeping them in the dark regarding the division of the assets. This is why it’s crucial to keep the close family involved in these cases so that the owner of the assets can get decent input from the future beneficiaries.
The Execution Of The Will Is Incorrect
This is another dispute that’s very commonly dealt with by lawyers. Sometimes, the instructions in the will aren’t very clear and they can be a bad financial move, especially in the changing times of the present. For instance, if selling an asset was beneficial a couple of years back, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to stay the same in the present, with the rising inflation and interest rates.
So, this can lead to a dispute or disagreement between the parties involved and, in turn, this can cause delays in the process of asset division. Beneficiaries or any person involved will need to get help from an estate litigation lawyer Largo.
Trustees Are Not Following The Rules
A lot of the time, especially if the beneficiaries are not of legal age, the testator will make a trust fund for them, so that they can have access to it at a certain age. Oftentimes than not, trustees are appointed by the testator to manage the trust and invest money timely for the beneficiaries.
This can lead to a lot of disputes, between the trustee and the beneficiaries because they might not see eye to eye with the demands, and things can take a messy turn, if not resolved timely.
The Will Is Written Under Pressure
If you know the testator well, then the way the will is written can say a lot about the circumstances in which it was drafted. Sadly, there are a lot of cases in which people, not usually directly related, can influence a testator to draft up a will that has unrealistic conditions and nothing for the real and well-deserved beneficiaries.
Some clauses can give this away and this can become, understandably, a source of dispute. The will can be challenged in court if there is a good enough reason that it was written by the testator who was under pressure by someone. You should need a good lawyer for making your case if you’re contesting the will.
The Beneficiaries Are Not As Stated
This rarely ever happens, especially if the testator has been open with the beneficiaries and the family members about the drafting and making of the will and who will be assigned as the heirs of the assets, after their demise. What’s peculiar is that when the will comes out, the beneficiaries are entirely different or not even stated. This is something that can lead to delays in the estate process and it is hard for lawyers as well.
So, if you’re someone who’s considering drafting up a will, then make sure that you’re including the names of the beneficiaries, because that’s going to be easier for everyone.
The Testator Can’t Make A Will
If the testator is not in the right mental and physical capacity to write a will, called the lack of testamentary capacity, and the beneficiaries know it, then it might raise a lot of alarm bells in their minds as to how the will was written and drafted in the first place. This can lead to a major dispute for the right reasons because the solution needs to be found, otherwise, this can turn into a case of sabotage really quickly.
The Executors Are Not Doing Their Job
This is also another very commonly occurring dispute and the blame isn’t just reserved for the executors in question. The executors are the people appointed by the testator who will start working on the execution of the will, as soon as a grant for probate is requested by the beneficiaries. Now, this is where the beneficiaries can also be at fault.
Given the situation, the beneficiaries can be slow to request a probate grant in court and this can lead to delays in the entire process. Furthermore, it’s essential to keep in mind that executors are people who are doing this job, without any expectation of compensation, so it might be hard for them to fit this task into their already tightly packed schedule.
Someone Wants To Use The Assets For Personal Gain
This dispute goes hand in hand with the one where the will is supposedly written under pressure. There might be certain clauses in the will that just don’t sound like the testator and if they were open and honest with the beneficiaries in their life and have discussed the details of the will, in some capacity, then this might raise a lot of objections.
This can lead to the idea that the will is written for the personal gain of some other party and things need to be solved for the will to be properly executed.
The Will Is Not Fair
Last but not least, and again, this is quite common to hear almost all the time, that is the fact that the will is unfair. Usually, there isn’t any sort of inheritance involved in wills, and if someone was expecting that, then obviously they are going to feel bad about not inheriting something from the estate.
This dispute can take a petty turn quickly and major differences between the parties involved can take place. This is why it is better to take precautions in the first place and let the beneficiaries know what to expect when the will comes to light.
It’s good to know how wills can become a source of argument between people. Even though it’s your will and you’re the boss in making all of the decisions, these common disputes should be kept in the back of your mind when planning your will with the advice of your estate planning lawyer Bowie.