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Preventing squabbles over your will

When New Yorkers write a will, they usually hope that its wording will be sufficient to prevent any family squabbles. After all, nobody wants his or her heirs to be at odds with each other over a will's bequests. Unfortunately, even the best planned estate can still be the cause of infighting

One possible reason for family squabbles after someone dies is the fact that the deceased never discussed their intentions with their heirs. As a result, the contents of a will may come as a surprise to beneficiaries who may misinterpret the deceased's intentions and take various bequests and omissions personally.

One possible result of confusion or disappointment over a will can be litigation. In such cases, family relationships can break down entirely while much of an estate's value may end up being squandered on legal fees. Some legal experts strongly advise people who write wills to let their heirs know what is in the will. This eliminates the element of surprise and also allows family members to ask questions about the intentions of the person writing the will.

Individuals who are in the process of estate planning may benefit from speaking with an experienced estate attorney. A lawyer may be able to review the client's circumstances and make recommendations regarding trusts, guardianship and asset distribution. A lawyer may also be able to advise on how to handle difficult family situations and how to word a will so that the client's intentions and sentiments are clearly communicated to beneficiaries.

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