Families at War in New Zealand / York, PA

MP900442402The legal system in New Zealand is similar to that in the United States, including the estate laws. As is true in the United States, when a lot of money is involved in an estate families will sometimes go to war with each other over it.

In the United States we sometimes think that our country is unique and that problems and issues that occur here are not the same as those that occur in other countries. In some cases that is true. However, in other cases it is not true because people are the same everywhere in the world.

One case where it is not true is in the tendency of people to fight over a wealthy estate. Whenever there is enough money involved in an estate to make it worth fighting over, people who are not happy with a distribution plan tend to fight anywhere in the world.

A recent article in The New Zealand Herald, titled"Families at war: When wills go sour," tells accounts of three current disputes over wealthy estates that have families fighting with each other.

While the details of the disputes make for interesting reading, there are more important lessons to be learned from the article. The key take away is that in New Zealand the likelihood that these disputes will arise can be lessened through proper estate planning.

The same thing is true in the United States.

Families will often fight over wealthy estates, but the likelihood of that happening can be lessened with proper estate planning. It is impossible to make the chance of family dispute zero percent, however. If you do not want your family to fight over your estate, then you should see an estate planning attorney to lessen the probability that they will and communicate your intentions to your loved ones in advance.

For more information about estate planning, please visit my estate planning website.

Reference: The New Zealand Herald (October 17, 2014) "Families at war: When wills go sour"

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