More and more people are establishing trusts instead of traditional wills. Trusts allow you to have more control over your assets and do not have to go through the tedious probate process. However, that does not mean your heirs can't challenge the trust after your death. If they believe the trustor was coerced or was not of sound mind when the trust was created, they may take the matter to court.
Here are a few ways to minimize the risk of trust litigation.
Talk About Your Plans With Your Beneficiaries
Communication is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of trust litigation in the future. Discuss your wishes with your beneficiaries early and often. For example, if you plan on leaving a larger inheritance to one child because he or she struggles financially more than the others, tell them that.
Some of these conversations may be difficult to have initially but necessary.
Keep Beneficiaries Out of the Estate Planning Process
If some of your beneficiaries express interest in helping you with estate planning, politely decline. You do not want your other beneficiaries to think that they influenced you in any way. The only other person who should be involved in the process is your lawyer.
Select Your Trustee Carefully
The trustee is the person who will administer your assets after your death. Choose someone you trust to carry out your wishes in the trust. If this person is transparent with the process, there may be fewer conflicts.
Update Your Trust When Necessary
When you experience major life changes, you should make the necessary changes to your trust. For instance, if you get a divorce, you may want to remove your former spouse from your trust. By updating your trust, you can minimize the potential of litigation in the future.
Use Clear Language in the Trust
Vague language in a trust may confuse your beneficiaries and increase the risk of disputes. That is why you should have your lawyer use clear wording in the document. If your beneficiaries understand everything that is written in your trust, they may be less likely to challenge the document in court.
Trust litigation can be a messy process, so it is best to avoid it in the first place. If you follow these helpful tips, you can reduce the risk of litigation. If you have further questions, you should contact an experienced lawyer.