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Potential Roadblocks for Beneficiaries Attempting to Exercise Their Rights

 Posted on July 27, 2016 in Estate Planning

Lombard estate planning lawyerWhen a friend or family member chooses you as a beneficiary in his or her will or any of their estate planning documents, they did so with the strong conviction that you are trustworthy and capable of acting on behalf of their best interests. Much thought and care likely went into their decision, and whether you were aware of their choice or not, the moment they pass away or entrust you with a valuable asset, you automatically take on the responsibility of carrying out their wishes.

Potential Complications

In many cases, exercising your rights as a beneficiary is a smooth process. You may work easily with an executor, attorney, or family member, without experiencing a single hiccup along the way. Sadly, though, issues can arise under certain circumstances as you attempt to exercise your rights, spawning a number of frustrations not only for you but for anyone else involved in the process.

Some common challenges you might encounter as a beneficiary include:

  • Dealing with an unreliable executor - With estate administration, it is not uncommon to come across this issue. Unfortunately, some estate executors are not very reliable when it comes time to handle the estate business. The executor may not be fully prepared for such responsibility or may choose to act on behalf of their best interests, not the decedent's, taking advantage of the situation from various angles;
  • Conflict among friends and family of the deceased - Even if someone chose you as a beneficiary in a specific document, it is not unheard of for those chosen as beneficiaries to experience objections from other friends or family members of the deceased person. Emotions can be high and tension can be strong, causing all sorts of disagreements between parties. It is important to know your rights and exactly where you stand as a beneficiary under these circumstances, especially if you want to diffuse conflict and ensure the process runs smoothly; and
  • Questionable document changes - Some beneficiaries discover changes in a will or estate document of which they were unaware, such as an alteration to the distribution of property and to whom it is to be given. For example, the decedent may have initially promised you an inheritance of some sort, but after their passing, you discover the acknowledgment or instruction for such inheritance is no longer dictated in the estate document. Some beneficiaries also face the unpleasant task of contesting a will if they believe the document was compromised in some way.

There are multiple instances where you may be forced to question the validity of a will or estate planning document. Facing this sort of issue is never simple, but you do not have to tackle the challenge alone. Speak with an experienced DuPage County estate planning attorney today. Call A. Traub & Associates at 630-426-0196 for a confidential consultation.



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