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Can probate litigation be avoided?

A high priority for many Louisiana estate owners is helping loved ones avoid long, drawn out court proceedings down the line. Probate litigation may be avoided if  certain issues are kept in mind and estate owners know where to turn for support, if needed. Not taking steps to avoid such litigation may ultimately cause permanent strain on familial relationships.

Probate litigation often occurs when someone who believed he or she was slated for an inheritance learns the assets in question have been left to someone else. This is why clear communication ahead of time is important. If a person plans to leave an inheritance for an unlikely heir, such as a business partner or romantic partner to whom he or she was not married, it is typically best to inform immediate family members of the intent and better still to put it in writing.

If a particular person is going to be specifically excluded from an inheritance, it may save other heirs from having to enter litigation by informing the excluded person of the decision ahead of time. A properly prepared estate plan is another key factor in avoiding contentious probate situations. An experienced estate planning and administration attorney is a great resource to have on hand when developing a plan.

It's also crucial to keep an existing estate plan updated. Many Illinois estate owners ask attorneys to periodically review their plans to help with any needed changes. It is also best to seek clarification of Illinois law if one hopes to help family members avoid probate litigation.

Source: livingtrustnetwork.com, "5 Ways to Avoid Probate and Trust Litigation", Accessed on Dec. 2, 2017

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