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Planning can prevent later estate litigation

It is now the season of family gatherings, holiday parties, and spending time with loved ones. In fact, readers of this Minnesota probate and estate administration law blog may be in the process of traveling to or from get-togethers with their friends and relatives. For many Minnesota families, the holidays are the only time of year when they are with all of their parents, siblings, and other important connections. Though it may not sound like a lot of fun, the holidays can be a good time to discuss estate planning with one's parents and siblings.

An estate plan is a good idea for many reasons, but primarily because it can save a family a lot of pain and trouble later on. A poorly planned or administered estate can result in will contests, probate litigation, and other preventable problems after the death of a parent or other loved one. Planning does not have to be highly detailed and complex; planning over the holidays can include opening the lines of communication between parents and kids to ensure that everyone has the right legal help to see their estate plan intentions formalized.

This blog has provided many examples of the problems families can face when challenges to an estate are made after the death of a loved one. While there is no right way to fend off all future estate issues, planning is a good first step toward having the right documents in place to effectuate an individual's intended estate distribution.

Over the holidays, have the confidence to ask parents and siblings about their estate plans. While it can be a tough topic to breach, planning now may save a family later stress and heartache should an estate end up subject to challenges and litigation.

Source: Costal Courier, "Use holidays to talk about estate planning, long-term care," Dec. 16, 2015

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