Communication is the key. Talk to your heirs if you are doing something unusual and unnatural regarding the disposition of your estate. An explanation can go a long way in helping to minimize litigation. Especially when you are making an uneven distribution or excluding a child or grandchild. It always helps to explain why you are doing this.
Periodically review your estate planning documents with your attorney. Your estate plan will need to be updated due to a major life change, such as the death of a beneficiary, a divorce or significant change in financial circumstances.
Most states will recognize and honor a “no contest” clause. This can also help minimize or discourage legal disputes.
Disposing of your personal belongings can be critical. Many times it is the insignificant items that can delay the administration of the estate. It’s the items that really have little monetary value that are of more sentimental value to a family member. By specifically mentioning these items in your Will or Trust or having a personal property memorandum that specifically lists your personal belongings and who is to receive what, this can minimize the aggravation and litigation later.
Finally, make sure your estate planning documents are prepared properly. Avoid the do-it-yourself or online kits. These can wreak havoc on your estate and only create litigation later.