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DuPage County estate planning lawyerIt is tragically common for children of any age to experience serious problems following the death of a parent. What may have begun as typical sibling rivalry and relatively minor annoyances may develop into an irreparable chasm between brothers and sisters when their mother or father is no longer there to mediate. In some cases, sibling estrangement is inevitable, as years of competition and hurt feelings may eventually lead to a permanent rift. In other situations, however, conscientious estate planning by the parent can help prevent more serious problems from developing.

If you have noticed that your children struggle to get along with each other at times, an experienced estate planning attorney can help you put together a plan designed to reduce friction and promote healthy relationships.

Discuss Certain Elements of Your Plan in Advance

Jealousy is one of the most common factors between estranged siblings, but communication can often alleviate such feelings before they become problematic. Before you formalize your estate plan, sit down with your children and have a frank discussion about the future. Your children are not responsible for making your estate planning decisions, but their input can be very valuable in developing a plan that will foster ongoing relationships when you are gone.

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Wheaton estate planning lawyerTrust and estate litigation is a unique area of law, and it usually requires the services of an experienced estate planning attorney. This is because trust and estate litigation does not conform to the model of a typical lawsuit. The issues involved are generally motivated not by the specifics of a trust and how it is set up, but by the emotional content of the family baggage and conflict behind the dispute.

Danger Ahead: Unresolved Family Issues in a Court of Law

The most unique aspect applicable to many cases dealing with trust and estate law is that the clients are usually contending with a situation that is occurring in the context of an unfortunate family tragedy—that is, the death of a loved one. This adds a different dynamic to the needs of the client and how they will be best served by legal representation.

Among the initial concerns in a will or trust dispute are, in many cases, unresolved family dynamics. These unresolved issues (often years or decades in the making) must be addressed under very difficult circumstances, such as when somebody has recently passed away, and in the challenging forum of the courts. The attorney you retain to represent your interests needs to be sensitive to the family issues and be capable of resolving them in such a way that maintains family unity and prevents it from becoming fractured by bitter litigation.

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