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Family in contentious estate battle for $3 million

Many times, as people age, they make sure their estate is in order. This mean their will is set the way they want, and they have had discussions with their family about their care as they age. Unfortunately for one family, a stressful event may have lead to alterations to a woman's will, just before her death in 2008.

The woman's husband had died just three month before she did, and in the time between her husband's death and her own, her will was changed. The woman's new will excluded her husband's sons out of the family business and other assets worth somewhere around $3 million. Instead the new will placed a large portion of the estate with the woman's half-sister's daughters.

While this case may seem complicated, it can be a common occurrence when people fail to establish proper estate planning documents, or when documents are altered while a person might not be in a proper state of mind. Sometimes people who are struggling with an emotional period of their lives, do things that they might not actually have wanted to do.

If another person influences their decisions in the last phase of their life, family members might contest the will. Now a court will have to decide how the estate should be split up in this case. Speaking with an experienced estate planning attorney can help ensure that your loved ones know your wishes after you die. While this isn't always the easiest thing to discuss, it can give someone peace of mind knowing that everything will go according to plan.

Source: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Battle of Wills: Family clashes over $3 million Derzon estate," Cary Spivak, July 14, 2012

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