After Passing Away: How To Smooth Out A Bump Road


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When a loved one passes away, you’re going to need to keep strong for the rest of your family. Times like this, you need someone to hold the rest of the family and friends together.

You won’t even be able to think straight about your normal life. Working, paying bills and grocery shopping just fly out the window as their importance diminishes in light of the passing. You hope that it will be a smooth road to the end where you can bury and ceremonially close the deceased one’s life. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s not plain sailing and issues do arise when it comes to the will.

Most families will try to stick to the letter and obey the wishes of the will.

And yet, if there is a grey area or perhaps vague wording that doesn’t make it clear about who gets what, then legal issues come to the fore. These add bumps to the road which you will want to smoothen out as soon as possible.

Checks and balances

If the deceased wrote his or her will with the aid of a legal team, they will have made sure to put checks and balances in the structure.

For example, if they are leaving someone a cash lump sum, they will make it clear with the bank that holds the ISA that this is noted in the will.

The legal team will have gotten the bank to acknowledge and or sign the will to give their word weight to both the bank and the beneficiary.

If someone in the family does not believe the lump sum was left for them despite the will saying so, they can then go to the bank who will also have a copy of the signed will. They may also leave behind an affidavit which is a formal in-person declaration. This affidavit could be about anything, so usually they are specific and prove they were done by the person who swears to the demands in the will.

Complexity in property

Perhaps the most complex of all knots to tie up, is the estate.

The estate the now deceased owned or partially owned might have been given to someone in an improper fashion. If you own half the property or perhaps have been taking care of it for many years, you might be deemed worthy of some kind of compensation.

For example, the deceased might have owned the property, but hadn’t lived in it for decades and you were maintaining the property with your own money without being compensated.

Should you get a slice of the property or should you be given a lump sum? Ask an estate lawyer that knows litigation, wills and succession so you can wind up the estate fairly.

They also handle will variation claims so wording and different versions can be studied to fight for your case. 

No one wants to be locked in a legal battle upon the death of a loved one. However you can smooth out the bumps in the road by speaking to a litigation lawyer and checking any and all lump sum gifts with the bank who was holding them.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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