Avoiding issues that cause problems during estate planning is as essential as preparation. Something that seems like a minor issue could cause legal problems or give a reason for the estate beneficiaries to challenge the Last Will and Testament or other documents in court.

Understanding the primary causes of problems is the best way to protect your estate assets, legacy, and loved ones from problems in the future. A diligent attorney skilled in estate planning issues in Staten Island could provide legal guidance throughout the process.

Common Estate Planning Mistakes

Some of the most common mistakes people make include the following:

  • Large estates failing to plan for taxes
  • Failing to plan for incapacity and end-of-life care
  • Not doing regular reviews to update the plan after life changes occur
  • Not creating an estate plan, including a will complying with state and federal law
  • Not laying out preparations for minor children, such as choosing beneficiaries to oversee their inheritance until they are 18

A lawyer in Staten Island is familiar with these common issues in estate planning and could help ensure all legal processes are followed.

Problems Leading to Invalidation of Wills

Family disputes about wills are unfortunate, and specific problems are more likely to invalidate the will when they arise. Some things estate planners can do to prevent issues after death include:

Last-Minute Changes

Beneficiaries of the deceased frequently challenge wills when significant changes to the will or other estate planning documents are made after the will is written but before death. When there is an unknown and substantial change to the estate plan, the family may challenge the will’s validity, which often leads to long-term litigation.

Undue Influence

Undue influence challenges result from a sudden and close relationship with the estate owner, leading to a drastic change in property division to beneficiaries. The elements needed to prove undue influence include:

  • Financial opportunity motive
  • Proof they exercised undue influence, such as witness testimony
  • A confidential relationship with the willmaker that benefits the party
  • Diminished mental capacity gives the person the opportunity to influence them

When someone seems to demonstrate control of the estate after forming a close relationship before death, it can quickly lead to ongoing legal issues that invalidate the will.

Questions of Diminished Mental Capacity

One essential reason to create an estate plan and will earlier in life is to avoid challenges based on questionable mental capacity. The issue can also arise because of unknown revisions before death.

When alterations are necessary, the estate owner can help avoid issues over validation by alerting the heirs so there are no surprises after their death. An attorney who is knowledgeable about problems with estate planning in Staten Island could help throughout the process to ensure compliance and avoid issues later down the road.

Legal Requirements for Will Execution

Failure to adhere to the requirements and regulations during the drafting and execution of documents is another primary cause of litigation. For example, under New York Consolidated Laws, Estates, Powers and Trusts Law ยง 3-2.1, the willmaker, also called the testator, must execute the will with their full legal name and address in the presence of two people who sign the document.

When there are no verifiable witness signatures, estate heirs may challenge the validity of the estate planning document. A lawyer with knowledge of Staten Island estate planning issues could ensure the documents are drafted and executed as required by the law to ensure validity.

Call an Experienced Attorney About Estate Planning Issues in Staten Island

You may put off estate planning as long as possible because the process is often time-consuming. Putting the time aside to create the plan without ensuring you avoid common problems can mean all your preparation goes to waste if the court invalidates any legal documents.

A qualified lawyer who understands the issues with estate planning in Staten Island can help tailor a sound plan that meets your unique goals while avoiding typical problems. Call soon to schedule a consultation for more information and to begin preparing your estate plan.