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Thomas N. Torzewski, LLC

Common causes for estate litigation

Estate planning is something all people need to consider, and they should consider it sooner than they think. There are various aspects of estate planning, including wills, letters of intent, guardianship designations and more. 

Although someone may have all these documents, it does not mean everything is in the clear. Problems can come up before or after a person's death that leads to estate litigation. By being aware of common causes, people can take action now instead of later to reduce the likelihood of needing to take a person's estate to court. 

Suspicions surrounding executor

Part of creating a will means assigning an executor who ensures a legal team divides assets appropriately. Problems arise when beneficiaries do not trust the better judgment of the executor. This may be due to the fact the beneficiaries have never met this person prior. Those writing wills can prevent a lot of turmoil after their deaths by ensuring the executor is someone all the beneficiaries know and are comfortable with. 

Second marriages

People should not avoid marrying a second time, but they should be aware that a second marriage means it is time to update the will. Another marriage can influence who receives what following a person's death. Children or a former spouse may not like the new division of assets and will bring litigation to the table. 

Signs of undue influence

When people age, their better judgment often starts to fade. They may be more susceptible to coercion or manipulation, and unfortunately, there are people out there who will attempt to have an older family member change a will. One sign of undue influence is that there is no explanation for why alterations took place. People generally change wills when their marital status changes or when they receive more assets. All family members should remain vigilant following a loved one's passing to ensure the will appears genuine. 

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