J. Kelly Kennedy, Attorney/CPA, PLLC

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Proper will execution can help to reduce sibling conflict

An estate plan helps Florida residents decide what they should do with their assets after they pass. This plan can be extremely important to peoples' families as they deal with the person's death. Not only can it make sure that assets are put to good use, it can, in some cases, keep families from a prolonged fight over who gets what. An estate plan can also help to reduce estate taxes and other costs. However, an estate plan can only do these things if it is properly executed. In particular, will execution is very important.

If a person's will is not properly executed, the person's family can end up in court after the person's death. Sadly, a will contest can tear a family apart. One of the most common types of contests are those between siblings who are fighting for their parents assets. One sibling could be jealous of the amount another sibling has received or may be worried that the will is a product of fraud. These battles can become expensive, time consuming and emotionally draining.

Common arguments between siblings can include fights over one sibling receiving more assets under the will than the other, assertions that one sibling applied undue influence over the parent and accusations that fraud occurred while creating the will.

In order to avoid many of these problems, wills should be properly executed with the appropriate legal help. There are very specific legal requirements that must be met when a will is executed. With the right help, these requirements can be fulfilled and reduce the possibility that a will contest or issue will arise in the future.

Source: Florida Today, "Financial Q&A: Sibling contesting wills is common," Stephen Lacey, Dec. 15, 2014

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