In Texas, one of the main reasons that family disputes occur over a loved one’s estate plan is if there was illness and changes were made to the document during the latter stages of the person’s life. Since it is so imperative to have an estate plan – even a basic one – those who are considering whether they need one or not should pay attention to situations in which people end up pursuing litigation over an estate because of various issues. Even when these situations are settled without going too far, it is still important to think about all aspects of estate planning with help from an experienced law firm.
For instance, a recent report detailed how a will dispute that was ongoing between a decedent’s sister and her daughter was heading for court in June, but it was settled before a court case was necessary. The sister, 79, and her daughter from whom she is estranged, 60, had a dispute over a will left by the testator. The man did not have a will until May of 2016. Prior to the creation of that document, his sister was set to get his assets. The sister, however, was not mentioned in the will. He died three months after creating the document while being cared for by his niece.
The sister asserted that her brother had dementia when he signed the will. The medical records were examined by an expert witness for the sister. He stated that the man did not have the proper capacity to make a will. The assets include land and the total value of his assets are reportedly more than $1 million. The sister will get approximately 15 acres that she owned with her brother. The other heirs will get the remainder of the assets. The man was a teacher at a local college for nearly five decades. He was a writer, a poet and a theater critic. He died at age 89. The sister expressed happiness at the settlement.
It is wise for everyone, regardless of their financial circumstances, to take the necessary steps to have an estate plan. Failure to do so can lead to issues in which family members are in dispute. Relationships can come undone and significant amounts of money can be spent to deal with the matter. If there is a failure on the part of a person to have an estate plan or there are disagreements regarding wills and the person’s capacity to create one, having legal assistance is imperative.
Source: mysanantonio.com, “Igo relatives settle dispute over will,” John MacCormack, April 28, 2018