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How can probate disputes be avoided?

On Behalf of | Feb 23, 2024 | Probate |

After someone passes away, their estate has to be dealt with. The legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person is called probate. Throughout this process, key estate planning documents, such as wills, are looked at by the court and approved.

However, the process does not always go smoothly, and probate disputes can arise. What can you do to avoid probate disputes?

Choose an appropriate executor

The executor is the designated individual who is responsible for ensuring that your wishes are carried out as per your instructions. You can nominate anyone you like to be your executor, but it’s important to consider the following factors:

  • Are they trustworthy?
  • Are they impartial?
  • Are they in a nearby location?
  • Do they have the time to take on this important role?

If the executor mismanages the estate at all, this can result in probate disputes and lengthy delays. That’s why it is vital to put careful consideration into this decision.

Update your will

A will should reflect the testator’s current wishes. A will should be reviewed every year or two or when any significant changes occur. For example, if an individual marries, obtains a divorce or has children, then the will should be updated accordingly. Ideally, any previous wills should be destroyed to reduce the risk of probate disputes.

If the instructions in your estate plan are clear and unambiguous, then there is less risk of disputes occurring. The best way to ensure that your estate is distributed as per your wishes is to seek as much legal information as possible when drafting or updating your estate plan.