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How to Handle Estate Disputes

Death can be a difficult time for families. However, it can also present difficult circumstances that cause arguments and disputes among family members. It is essential to understand the obligations as part of the estate planning process in order to avoid such issues. Whether or not there is a will, It is not unusual for there to be some dispute regarding the estate. Although the family may be able to resolve issues amicably, they may need to go to take legal action. Here, we will discuss a few ways on how to handle estate disputes.

Common Reasons For Disputes

If there is a question about the validity of a decedent’s will, it could lead to family conflict. Although family members may be able to resolve these issues among themselves, if they cannot, then they may need to submit the dispute to court. The person who drafted the will may have wanted their wishes followed but, for whatever reason, that wasn’t possible. Because of this, they may need to dispute if this is a valid will – meaning the person who wrote it at the time it was written was of sound mind.

A person who has been named as an executor in a will may be required to distribute funds and assets, file tax returns, and take care of all legal affairs related to the estate. If the will does not name an executor of the state, then a court-appointed personal representative will be asked to perform these responsibilities. This can cause conflict in families that do not agree with this situation. 

Ways To Resolve Disputes

Here are three main methods used to resolve estate disputes:

Mediation

You may have heard of mediation before in a different context. Mediation is the most informal way to resolve disputes, but can also be the easiest. It involves a neutral third party sitting down with either side to help them work together to reach a common ground. This could be as simple as talking out which assets will go to whom, or how things will be split if an executor is not named.

Litigation

This is the most time-consuming method of resolution. Litigation involves a formal court battle that allows each side to present their case. They will each give their reasonings, evidence, and opinions and allow a judge or jury to make a decision based on the evidence. This is also a common practice in divorce court, or child custody battles. It is a long process that can be costly and stressful, but create a clear end result to the situation.

Arbitration

Think of arbitration as when you and your sibling are fighting over who gets to watch their show on TV, and your parent has to make the final decision in the end. Arbitration is a situation in which a neutral party will make a binding decision to the dispute after hearing both sides. This usually occurs outside of a judicial court.

How to Handle Estate Disputes With Grand Strand Law Group LLC

At Grand Strand Law Group, we understand that times can be tough, and situations happen. We are here to help you every step of the legal way. Give us a call at 843.492.5422 and learn about how estate planning can resolve these situations before they can begin.

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