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Conflict inside families over inheritance on the rise, some say

Las Vegas residents may be interested in the possible trend toward more litigation between family members over inheritance issues. With the vast amount of wealth being distributed, experts are speculating as to what the cause is.

One study estimates that those who were born around the time of the Great Depression are going to pass on $8.4 trillion to their children. These Baby Boomers inheriting the money will be on the receiving end of the largest wealth transfer ever. Some believe that this is has led to an increase in litigation over inheritance issues, with siblings and others fighting over who gets what share of the estate. Often, these disputes end in settlement, but a lengthy litigation is a real possibility if common ground cannot be found.

Some attribute this rise in estate litigation to a lower concern for privacy in today's adults, particularly for those who stand to inherit a lot of money. Before, one attorney points out, litigation over a will or other estate-planning vehicle was usually undertaken by only the wealthiest American families. Now, when many families are in need of funds in order to pay their bills, it is becoming more commonplace. Another attorney points out that, when the family resolves their issue through a settlement, there is more of a chance that these relationship wounds will heal over time. A protracted court battle, however, can mean that the family is less likely to come together again.

An attorney can help avoid these inheritance issues through a properly drafted will and other estate planning documents. The attorney can also represent one of the inheriting parties should there be any contest or other issues arising from the execution of the will.

Source: Insurance News, "Inheritance conflicts pit relatives against one another", Tim Grant, July 04, 2014

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