Russ Cook & Associates, PC
view our Practice areas

Preventing family feuds during probate with a solid estate plan

The probate process can put family members at odds with each other. Often, families fight over property, how to interpret a decedent's wishes or how to administer an estate. Whether these types of battles are expected or not, they can put immense strain on family members.

To prevent the probate process from causing severed ties and irreparable damage on family members, every adult should have an estate plan in place. Not only does it protect a person's wishes, an estate plan can also prevent family disputes in a few important ways.

Clarifying your wishes and intentions

Without making clear who should receive what property in your estate plan, you leave the decisions on what happens with this property to the courts or a stranger. This can lead to hurt feelings and undesirable distributions. 

In your estate plan, you can specify who should receive specific property. This prevents your loved ones from having to fight over what they think you might have wanted.

Providing direction

People can feel very lost after someone passes away. They can be unsure of what to do in terms of planning a funeral, donating a person's assets to charity or spending money from an inheritance. And often, family members don't see eye-to-eye on these matters.

Instead of leaving such difficult decisions to family members struggling with loss and grief, you can give them clear guidance on what you want them to do. 

Making the difficult decisions

Even if family issues are minor or decades old, they can take center stage during probate. Resentments can boil over; estranged relatives can come back demanding property; perceived favoritism among children can reignite sibling rivalries.

To prevent these fights -- or at least to stop them from getting worse than they already may be -- you can use an estate plan to make difficult decisions. This could mean explicitly leaving someone out, leaving uneven inheritances or setting rules for trust payouts. Making these decisions (as kindly and clearly as possible) in an estate plan means your loved ones won't have to figure them out themselves or accept a court's decision that does not align with family dynamics.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

What Our Clients Are Saying About Us

  • Star

    “I recently moved to TN from MN and needed to re-do my trust documents, including a pet trust, to be compliant with TN law, and to find an entity able to act as my trustee. Russ and his staff were able to answer all of my questions quickly and efficiently, and I am comfortable and confident in Russ's representation and that my new documents will act as they are intended, when the time comes. They even put me in touch with a trustee who was involved in the process as well, which was so helpful. This was a big item on my move "to-do" list, and I am so pleased to have it completed!”

    - Kim J.
  • Star

    “We would definitely recommend Russ and any of his Associates. They are all very professional, efficient and well versed in Estate Planning.”

    - Cheryl H.
  • Star

    “Experienced, Knowledgeable, Friendly, Professionals all work here. I'm grateful my parents used this firm to create and maintain their Trust throughout the years. Working with the folks at Russ Cook & Associates, primarily Alex, Debby and Trina made the process comfortable working through Probate, Estate assets and Executing the Trust.”

    - Kemp S.
  • Star

    “Excellent work. They worked with us and never allowed us to miss a deadline. We definitely appreciated their help and would gladly recommend them to anyone seeking help with their estate planning.”

    - Mark S.
  • Star

    “Everyone we came in contact with was wonderful. The staff and Russ treated us like family at all times.”

    - June S.
  • Star

    “Being new to the area having moved from out of state, I was searching for an attorney to assist in elder estate planning for my mother. I was referred to Russ Cook & Associates and found the firm as a whole and Russ Cook himself to be very helpful and accommodating to my needs, as well as experienced and very knowledgeable on the matter I was seeking assistance. I would definitely recommend Russ Cook and Associates.”

    - Brad H.
  • Star

    “Mr. Cook and his staff were phenomenal to work with on my will. They are extremely professional and friendly and made the process seamless. They go above and beyond!”

    - Amber C.
  • Star

    “Russ took the time to answer my questions by email, so that I knew exactly what would take place when I visited his office and his time as well as mine was used efficiently. I appreciated his thoroughness and his professionalism, as well as that of his staff.”

    - JoAnn G.
  • Star

    “Overwhelmingly positive experience.”

    - Stephen W.
  • Star

    “I have been a client for many years. Russ and his staff listen to our concerns, come up with a plan and help us act on it with guidance and professionalism. I'd highly recommend Russ Cook and Associates.”

    - Dr. S. D'Amico
Email Us For A Response

Schedule An Initial Consultation Today

Contact us today to schedule a consultation by sending us an email or by calling 615-200-9117.
We assist clients throughout the Nashville area.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Brand Contact

5141 Virginia Way
Suite 220
Brentwood, TN 37027

Phone: 615-200-9117
Fax: 615-370-5938
Brentwood Law Office Map

Office Hours:
Monday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Thursday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Summer Hours Office:
8:00 AM - 1:00 PM on Fridays
May 24th Through August 30th

Map Image