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Key Tips on How to Help Avoid Estate Litigation

All too often families must endure the pain of losing a loved one, parent, brother, sister, or even a child to a disease or accident and the legal aftermath can result in various conflict amongst relatives and even in-laws. Disputes over inheritances and estates can rupture the relationships they have.

Fights like this can sometimes be about the material possessions that the deceased has left or sometimes about money. One of the things that should be done right away, for everyone, is to create an estate policy that diminishes any possible conflict that may arise between relatives.

Estate Litigation: What Is It?

Planning their estate is something every family must consider to do. There are times that relatives, with  unresolved issues, encounter problems regarding the estate left behind by the deceased. These could be debts, loans, or remaining payouts that were not completed before the loved one passed on. Sometimes the administrators themselves have issues with the heirs or the beneficiaries stated on the will.

Estate litigation is the process of allocating the entire inheritance or legacy to the successors, testate or intestate (with or without a will), in the presence of the court. These may be settled in a simple and uncomplicated manner among all the parties involved as long as they are willing to do it peacefully and rationally.

Causes for Estate Litigation

Most people do not wish to enter in such processes but sometimes it’s necessary and inevitable. Here are some of the most common causes of estate litigation:

  • Feud with creditors – this may be about unpaid loans left by the deceased.
  • Arguments on the will and how the assets are divided – heirs and successors may have disagreements between their shares and this could ignite a litigation.
  • Vitiated consent or undue influence.
  • Financial misuse – administrators and heirs alike may wrongfully use the finances to purchase prohibited drugs or even lavish expenses.
  • Intestate succession.
  • Life insurance.

How Can You Avoid Estate Litigation?

Nobody wants to witness a battle between family members, relatives, and possible friends. But chances are there will be some conflict that will cause emotional turmoil.

Here are some tips that would help you avoid estate litigation:

Prove that you are sane

Living in this world might have introduced you to a lot of people that may have enjoyed your company and your experiences with them have resulted in a lot of memories. These memories may entail crazy moments that would lead people to think that you were simply not sane. Hence, it is important to establish that you are sane and in a proper mental state.

In addition to that, proof may be collected from checkups or medical visits to doctors, psychologists and even psychiatrists that would eventually abolish the suggestion of insanity. Furthermore, this can eradicate any doubt that may promulgate impending litigation.

Deliberate the inequitable distribution of estate

Knowing that someone left an inequitable distribution of estate may be quite a bother and potentially could result in an estate litigation. People do not like unfair treatment and they will do everything in their power to obtain equal treatment and a fair share in things.

In reality, there’s no particular law that mandates equal shares in the estate among the relatives regardless of the degree of the relationship. The heirs may question allocation of shares therefore if you decide to give unequal shares, there must be a sound reason to give to them. Deliberating the distribution of shares may be more acceptable than shocking yoru heirs with the document itself.

Disinheritance

There are times that exclusions may be made as some particular family members or relatives may be perceived as unworthy of receiving a part of the estate. Some may interpret it as a “mistake” yet it can also be intentional. Therefore, it must be carefully and clearly explained so that they understand and comprehend it completely. That way no questions will need to be asked afterwards.

Family Member vs Corporate Administrator to Manage the Estate

Choosing a person to administer and manage the estate may ignite an argument among the family, including the relatives. The best thing to do in order to be able to resolve an issue with the estate manager is to find an impartial third party, particularly an attorney or a treasury, that may aid in avoiding these possible arguments.

Nobody wants to ignite a battle between family members, relatives, or friends that would be about the estate. Estate plans must be carefully scrutinized to minimize emotional turmoil. Drafting a will or an estate plan is best done in the presence of an attorney, who can help reduce potential conflict. If you’re looking into more specific aspects of this subject, such as estate planning, click here.

Kiren Manning

Kiren is a estate law writer who enjoys writing about subject in relation to real estate and law. He has written for a few blogs in the past, and enjoys sharing his knowledge with those who enjoy reading. In his spare time he enjoys spending quality time with those he loves.

 

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Are You On The Right Path For Retirement?

Retirement savings is either a comforting or frightening experience for most aging adults. As new data suggests, many Americans may not be as close to retirement as they think. Most adults have substantially less saved than necessary at their age to retire on time.

By the time you hit your mid-thirties, data suggests you should have a little over $31,000 put away. That number jumps up to just over $67,000 by your late forties. The later you start saving in life, the harder it is to get caught up.

The amount saved also varies significantly by geography. People in the Midwest and Northeast are more likely to participate in retirement savings programs such as 401k. They also have better access to these programs than those in the West and South.

Marriage is also a great indicator of a successful financial future. Married couples are about 20% more likely to have retirement account savings than singles. Married couples that hold government jobs have even higher access to retirement plans which can even set them up for early retirement.

Though the future may seem bleak for many, Investment Zen has some recommendations to help maximize your retirement savings. To start with, if your employer offers a 401k plan, take it. If they don’t offer it, you can opt for an IRA or Roth IRA instead.

Using Trinity study’s 4% rule can help you decide how much to save as well. Plan on withdrawing 4% of your total retirement account per year once you retire. If you want $50,000 a year, plan on saving $1,250,000 to retire on.

In the infographic below, it breaks down a few more details on the average state of retirement savings in 2017. It’ll give you a good indicator of where you’re at and what you can do.

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What Affects the Price of Gold in Australia?

Gold prices can fluctuate rather fast, or it seems that way at the very least, especially to someone who doesn’t quite know how to keep up with gold prices. Realistically, it is a well-known fact that gold and silver are two of the most complex assets to price. Unlike currencies, commodities, and stocks, physical gold cannot be priced using the production-demand-inventory formula, which makes the procedure all the more challenging.

Although within Australia, which also happens to be the third-largest gold producer in the world, the currency is influenced directly by gold prices. If the gold prices increase or decrease, the Australian dollar moves accordingly. However, the price of gold can be affected by several factors, although the legitimate reason is not clearly known. Here are 3 of the many factors that affect the price of gold:

1.    Supply & Demand

Supply and demand is the simplest way to define the actual process and reasoning behind price changes for any good or service. Gold is no different in this regard. More demand and less supply means that the price of the commodity will be higher, and vice versa. Anything that is oversupplied will see a drop in price rates. Gold, for one, is never oversupplied. If anything, it was undersupplied and only saw 1% in terms of supply growth in the first of half of 2016. This is one of the main reasons why gold prices have risen higher in the year 2017.

2.    Changes in Currency

Any changes that come about in currencies can also have a huge impact on the price of gold all over the world. The U.S. currency, specifically, is always responsible or capable of altering gold prices around the world due to the fact that the price of gold is greatly dominated by the dollar. It is the same for Australian dollars. Gold prices in Australia can rise above or fall at any time the currency fluctuates, and since the currencies of Australia and U.S. are correlated, their prices might be the same often times.

3.    Monetary Policy

This is probably the main factor that makes such a huge impact on the price of gold. Opportunity cost itself makes a huge difference in how the price of gold is evaluated, as do the interest rates. A lot of people may choose to invest in gold rather than interest-based assets, and the benefit of the former is a lot more in comparison. However, this is one of the major factors that greatly influence the changes and the determination of the price of gold, but there are plenty of other factors too.

The price of gold can never be assumed or judged in advance because the prices are based on not just these, but plenty of other factors as well. Gold prices in Australia may be affected by currency more than anything, but gold is also high in demand within the continent. In other places such as Europe, the price of gold might be a lot more different.

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