SERVING NORTHWEST FLORIDA FAMILIES FOR MORE THAN 20 YEARS

It’s important to have the most recent will when dividing assets

On Behalf of | Dec 22, 2021 | Estate Planning |

One of the most critical parts of the probate process is simply determining who is entitled to which assets. This is often laid out in the will and other sorts of documents, but that doesn’t mean there is never any confusion. 

For instance, there could be two different wills that are in conflict with each other. Perhaps the first leaves the family vacation home to the eldest child, while the second will leaves it to all of the children together. This type of conflict can pit children against each other and lead to allegations that one will is fake or that one will is inaccurate.

This does not have to lead to a lawsuit

You can often avoid litigation in these situations simply by determining in advance which will is valid and which is the most recent. For instance, maybe the parents initially wrote the will when the first child was born and left them the real estate exclusively, but then they updated it when the other children were born to share the property between the siblings. A full understanding that the second will is the most recent and takes precedence over the first can help avoid a dispute because the oldest child never believes that they have an exclusive claim to that property.

For this reason, you never want to rush through this process. You may feel like getting everything squared away quickly to put it behind you, especially if it’s an emotional process, but rushing can lead to mistakes and oversights. Taking your time can help you ensure that you’re doing exactly as the estate plan intended, and that is what makes this all go smoothly.