When heirs or beneficiaries in Arizona or elsewhere disagree about probate issues, it often sparks a legal dispute. Such issues can be complex and difficult to resolve. There are several key factors that are relevant to estate planning, which often coincide with disputes. Learning how to avoid these problems ahead of time may help your loved ones and others navigate probate in the least stressful way possible.
The easiest way to help loved ones, especially one’s children, avoid discord during probate is to execute a solid, thorough estate plan ahead of time. If someone dies without having signed a last will and testament, for instance, it increases the possibility for disputes to arise. On the other hand, a well-planned estate that includes a detailed will, advanced directive or other documents leaves little room for confusion or disagreements.
Issues that may ignite disputes after an estate owner’s death
The following list includes numerous issues that siblings or other family members might fight over during probate:
- Burial issues
- Furniture or family heirlooms, such as a painting or jewelry
- Business succession
- Testamentary capacity
Disputes may also arise if the deceased stated something to a family member regarding inheritance, but the will or a trust in the estate plan state something different.
How to resolve estate planning disputes
There are several options for resolving estate planning disagreements. If someone believes that a will is invalid, he or she may present evidence to an Arizona probate judge to request a ruling. Many people also seek legal support to help find solutions to disputes that have arisen in connection with the probate process.