Estate litigation occurs for a variety of reasons. However, experts can often predict what types of litigation will become more popular.
At the heart of most estate litigation cases is some sort of family grievance. There are other reasons for litigating over an estate. However, family issues are by far the biggest source of conflicts. That is a timeless principle that has been true since the very beginning of estate law and it is likely to always be true.
However, the contours of how the litigation proceeds changes over time. It is useful to try and anticipate how potential battles will look. Private Wealth recently predicted some trends we may see, when it comes to estate litigation in 2018.
The article is titled "4 Estate Litigation Predictions For 2018" and includes:
- First, it is likely that more estate litigation cases will be filed. Americans are getting older and many are increasingly sitting on larger and larger piles of wealth that people will want to fight over.
- The expected increase in litigation has led to estate planners looking for ways to avoid it. One popular way is to include mandatory arbitration clauses in wills and trusts. It is expected that litigation over the enforceability of those clauses will increase.
- Another way to deal with the increase in estate litigation has been to use more no-contest clauses and to widen their scopes in states where this is permitted. (Not in Florida) That will also likely be the source of increased litigation, as plaintiffs seek to avoid the clauses.
- The rules of the Uniform Trust Code are likely to be another source of disputes, as courts in states that have recently adopted a version of it, will need to determine what is allowed and what is not allowed.
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Reference: Private Wealth (Feb. 14, 2018) "4 Estate Litigation Predictions For 2018."