The whole point of organizing an estate plan and creating a will is to minimize legal action when you pass away. That’s a very vague way of defining the end goal of estate planning, but it is still true. There are obviously many other goals for estate planning: ensuring your assets go to the people you want to have them, protecting your lifetime of wealth, and creating a plan for the worst case scenarios when you turn older are three more crucial goals of an estate plan.
We say all of this because there can be lengthy legal battles that pit family members against family members when an estate plan isn’t clear or is non-existent. The deceased’s loved ones stake their claim to certain items, even if they don’t have a legitimate legal claim to make, and it can be costly for everyone involved.
Inheritance law is what governs “who” has a right to “what” in the wake of a person’s death. These laws vary from state to state, but they cover very important scenarios, such as an ex-spouse’s right to assets, or the right children or grandchildren have to certain assets. Inheritance law also varies depending on whether the state follows community property laws or not.
Depending on your situation, you may have a legitimate claim to make regarding a certain asset in a person’s estate. If you are considering taking legal action over this asset, you should consult with an experienced estate planning attorney first to ensure that your case is handled properly.