If your relatives do not like the terms of your will, they may contest it.
Take the case of DJ Herb Kent.
It has been more than eight months since his death and his estate is still in question.
His daughter Robbin is seeking financial assistance as she battles over his estate, according to a recent Chicago Sun-Times article titled “Famed DJ Herb Kent’s daughter is contesting her father’s will.”
She believes her father was unduly influenced by his girlfriend, Linda Stanford.
Stanford and Kent had never married, but his last will made her the executor and his radio producer the successor executor.
Robbin claims Kent suffered from poor health and dementia in the final years of his life, making him susceptible to manipulation by Stanford.
Robbin and her child—the only child and grandchild of Kent—were left with nothing.
Will she be successful?
The decision lies with the courts, but challenging any last will is an uphill fight.
Then again, who wants to leave behind an inheritance dispute.
You greatly improve the chances of averting postmortem hostilities by: 1) working with an experienced estate planning attorney; and 2) communicating your estate plan with your family while you are alive.
So, how do you find an "experienced" estate planning attorney?
First, ask around. Friends, family and other professional advisors are trustworthy sources.
Second, conduct an "organic" search on "Google" for "estate planning" near you (e.g., "Estate Planning Anytown MoKan").
Third, either way, verify! Check out the education, experience, ratings and client reviews of any attorney before you contact him or her.
In fact, I use both of these services to thoroughly vett attorneys before referring members of our "client" family for legal help in other areas of law or for matters in jurisdictions outside Kansas or Missouri.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: Chicago Sun-Times (June 8, 2017) “Famed DJ Herb Kent’s daughter is contesting her father’s will”