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Senior Advisor

Re: Statistics on will contests and trustee removal?

It's usually an heir or the spouse of an heir. It generally involves the notion that they didn't get a fair shake. Quite often, the farm boy that stayed on the farm is given a preferred advantage in the estate whether deserved or not. In some cases the perpetuation of the family farm is more important than the financial well being of all the children.


Its the deceased's property to dispose of but you would think that most parents would want to deal somewhat equitably with all their children.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Statistics on will contests and trustee removal?

If you have no will you will likely have more strife and NO say in what happens to your assets.

Most jurisdictions if not all have legislation to appoint a trustee if there is no will and it will be someone with no knowledge of your family or interest AND your estate will pay them big $$ to manage the disbursement.


You need a will!


Do the best you can to set it up the way you wish and then tell your heirs (I am assuming they are family) what you plan at least it general terms.

If they know your wishes ahead of time they are better prepared for what is in it after your death.


i do agree with the comment that the big problems come from an in law, usually a partner of one of your children and there is not much you can do about that unless you are able to discuss it with everyone before you die and persuade them of your intent to be fair even if that is not equal since the two things seldom match in an estate disbursement.


It is no doubt easier in a family that does not have issues before your death but as has been said you can not rule from the grave even if you try so live your life well and let your heirs deal with the future.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Statistics on will contests and trustee removal?

In most cases where I have seen problems, it has been overwhelmingly the sorry-ass guy who married a female heir. Usually one that was a failure on his own, expecting wife's inheritance to be his ship coming in. Truly trifling....
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Senior Contributor

Re: Statistics on will contests and trustee removal?

And interesting dilemma and I yield to the collective experience of the forum. That is, don't ever trust neer'do well son-in-laws.


In the ideal world, the final estate (i.e. both Mom and Pop have died) is divided evenly between the children. Large farm operations being what they are, and adult children (and some of their Nimrod spouses) being what they are, things tend to get more complicated.


So here is my purely layman's suggestion: The light of day (i.e. before your hopefully long and very timely death) is the best disinfectant. It seems important to tell everyone who will stand to inherit a slice of the estate what they are going to get. If it is going to be complicated, do it while you are alive and do it in front of your lawyer and have it recorded for posterity. Bad news does not improve with age and it becomes postively rancid when it comes from the grave. For better or worse, I am for telling everyone up front what they are going to get and why, while you are still alive.


Second, an ironical legal term used by lawyers is called a "trust." It is ironical because you only create a "trust" for your estate when you do not actually trust the person you are leaving your weath to. These instruments are best created for those children who either have lifelong dependencies in need of a fiduciary empowered trustee or for those kids who you already know would squander the wealth in a fortnight and then become impoverished in their later years. A well written trust is intended to protect your children from the types of imprudent decisions that has caused you to create the trust in the first place.


Lastly, I am going to suggest that you consider bequeathing portions of your estate prior to your death. My only stipulation would be that you only give the money or property to adult children who do NOT need it. You know who they are. They are the ones who have managed to live their lives without relying upon you or your wealth. The are also the types of adults where trust are a waste of time and money.


Good luck