Each person is on the lookout for their own interests. Some call this being selfish, but this is actually nothing but natural. Self-preservation is normally on top of any sane person’s list of priorities. After all, a person has to be comfortable first before they can even think of helping others. This is where estate planning documents can come in handy and help prevent or resolve family feuds that may arise.

Because of that, it is expected that people will really work to maximize their gains whenever they find themselves in contentious situations. And the efforts to be at an advantage can lead to rifts between parties. This is where the law can come in to make the arrangements as fair as possible for everyone involved. This article discusses three legal documents you should make sure to have that can help settle feuds a lot faster.  


3 Important Estate Planning Documents

1Contracts 

3 Important Estate Planning Documents To Secure To Avoid Feuds

Whenever there are deals or agreements, it is always wise to put them in writing with estate planning documents, and then have the contract signed by both parties and their respective witnesses. This ensures that the signatories will exhaust all reasonable efforts to keep up with what has been agreed upon, no matter how difficult it becomes.  

To illustrate, if it is stated in the contract that the two parties agree that one works this much while the other pays this much, all is well until one or both parties veer away from the stipulations in the contract. In such cases, the aggrieved party can seek legal remedies that can put an end to their conflict by compelling the other to yield to the contract’s demands.  

Normally, cases like the one above don’t really reach formal trial. Because litigation is such a hassle, both parties will most likely just meet to settle things on their own. If continuing with the contract is not feasible anymore, then payments will have to be made as part of the settlement.  

2Last Will and Testament  

3 Important Estate Planning Documents To Secure To Avoid Feuds

Even if the law is clear that the assets of the departed are to be divided equally among their surviving heirs, it is still not effective enough in stopping family members from getting into bitter conflicts with each other in their efforts to get a bigger share of the pie. This can be avoided if the person prepares for their death–which can be very unpredictable–by estate planning documents like a last will and testament. With this document, even if the surviving heir does not like the assets given to them, their option to contest it is somewhat thwarted because the law honors the wishes of the deceased. Most likely, they are just going to protest in silence.  

To make sure that the last will and testament is going to be properly drafted and kept, there really is a need to get the help of a trustworthy lawyer who has considerable experience in wills and estates. Competence is really necessary because there are also laws that regulate the amounts talked about and types of conditions laid out in a last will and testament. When these laws get a bit tricky, that’s when the lawyer’s extensive experience in the field comes in handy to save the day. 

READ MORE: Family Therapy: The Benefits and Reasons to Consider

3Prenuptial Agreements 

3 Important Estate Planning Documents To Secure To Avoid Feuds

The breakdown of a marriage is in and of itself a very difficult process to go through. There will be a lot of negative emotions involved: from sadness to frustration to even guilt and regret over the years that have ‘gone to waste’. All this can become even more complicated when the division of the ex-couple’s assets is brought up during the divorce process. Again, even if the law is clear that the conjugal assets are to be divided equally, this still does not save some ex-couples from long and bitter disputes. Some feuds between former partners are so intense that they start to adversely affect not only the couple but also their children and their families.  

Having a prenuptial agreement can greatly help in times like that. Through it, the division of assets becomes a lot clearer and the properties that are held dear by either of the parties can be kept in their possession without much question or judicial scrutiny. Examples of such properties are heirloom items and parcels of land inherited from grandparents who wished to keep them in the family.   

READ MORE: How to Explain Grandparents Divorce to a Child

Securing estate planning documents like the ones discussed above does not at all mean that the person is anticipating a chaotic future. Who wants to be in chaos, anyway? These documents are just signed and kept to make sure that things can still unfold smoothly even during trying times. These documents, in fact, stop conflicts from actually happening! So anyone who wants to live in peace should not shy away from any of them drawn up and kept safe.  

WANT TO READ MORE?

For more information on preventing family feuds, check out A Lifetime of Forgiveness-Planning for a Healthy Relationship.

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