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Even if all your estate planning documents are considered to be valid and enforceable in New York State, they may be vulnerable to disputes amongst your heirs. That is, your family may argue that your estate has been compromised if they do not agree with who got what. Read on to discover tips for avoiding familial conflict over inheritances and how a seasoned New York City estate litigation attorney at Zimmet Law Group, P.C. can help you in navigating this.

As the owner of an estate, what are tips to avoid familial conflict over inheritances?

Undoubtedly, the last thing you want is for your legacy to be tainted by disputes amongst your loved ones. You must ensure that you include certain terms and conditions within your estate planning documents, along with adopting certain strategies, to avoid familial conflict over inheritances. For this, tips are as follows:

  • Add a no-contest clause to your will, so that your heirs have to forfeit any gift or bequest that was originally granted to them if they unsuccessfully challenge its terms.
  • Create a revocable living trust, so that you can put an asset in a joint name and automatically transfer its rights to your heir upon your passing.
  • Assign a third-party, non-familial individual as the executor of your estate, so that they do not have a personal stake in how and to whom assets are distributed.
  • Make gifts to your heirs during your lifetime, so that they do not dispute its ownership upon your passing.

As an heir of an estate, how do I avoid conflict?

On the flip side, you likely want to spend your efforts honoring your loved one instead of feuding with your family members. This is especially worth avoiding if you are squabbling over minor items that were not worth disclosing in the estate plan. With that, you may want to consider following these tips:

  • Decline your appointment as executor of the estate and defer to an independent fiduciary.
  • Be willing to revise your ownership over certain assets if your family member’s financial circumstances have changed.
  • Liquidate the assets assigned to you and evenly split the proceeds amongst your family members.
  • Hire a mediator who can help you and your family members reach a settlement agreement for the remaining assets left outside of the estate plan.
  • Take turns with your family members for selecting the remaining assets left outside of the estate plan.
  • Use a lottery system for assigning the remaining assets left outside of the estate plan.

At the end of the day, if you are dealing with the distribution of an estate, you need a competent New York City estate planning attorney by your side. Contact Zimmet Law Group, P.C. to retain our services today.