Good Advice on Probate disputes from Fort Lauderdale Probate Litigation Attorney Kim Douglas Sherman


Probate Litigation Lawyer, Kim Douglas Sherman says that “the best probate dispute is one that never happens.” In this article Mr. Sherman provides some good advice on how to avoid probate litigation by being aware of the most common causes of those disputes.  The most successful action to combat disputes over an estate is to make a valid, self-proving Last Will.  In Florida, the will should be in writing, signed by the person making the will and signed by two witnesses, who are not beneficiaries named in the will.  The signing should be done by the person making the will and the witnesses all at the same time with all seeing each other sign.  The person making the will should clearly state to the witnesses that the document is their Last Will.  To make the will “self-proving,” there should be an affidavit attached where the person making the will and the witnesses take an oath in front of a notary public, that the person making the will stated it was their will and that that person and the witnesses all signed in each other’s presence.  A self-proving will can be admitted into the probate proceedings without having to bring in the actual witnesses into court.  It is inexpensive and effective, you just need to make the time and use the services of an attorney like Mr. Sherman.


You can avoid family feuds, according the Fort Lauderdale Probate Lawyer, Sherman, if you anticipate potential issues. Often people choose their oldest child to be the personal representative, also called an “executor”, of the Estate, but singling out one child can sometimes cause jealousy amongst the children.  Sometimes people make all of their children co-personal representatives, thereby requiring them to act in concert.  When you consider making these choices, you might also want to consider having a trusted independent person as your personal representative.  If you want to make things easier on the beneficiaries after you are gone, make a list of the specific personal items that you want to go to specific people.  If you refer to Mr. Sherman’s good advice article on wills, you can read about inserting a “list” provision into your will.  Having a list can avoid an ugly aftermath between beneficiaries over so-called family heirlooms.  It is also advisable to ask your family and friends what specific items are important to them and provide that they are named to receive them.


Probate litigator Sherman advises that you should anticipate changes in your estate’s value during your lifetime when making specific monetary bequests. If you use up your assets or they diminish while you are alive, it might have a material effect on how much is available to be distributed after your death.  For instance, if at the time you make your will, you want a certain sum of money to go to your church, your friends, or relatives–what happens if there is not enough money in the estate in order to satisfy your wishes.  You can avoid the problem, which often causes probate litigation, by having your will say that you want “the lesser of that sum or a specific percentage of your estate.”  You can base the percentage on what your desired sum is in relation to the value of your assets at the time you make your will.


In Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida, Attorney Sherman has seen many disputes causing probate litigation over the care of pets . If you have a pet you should consider naming the person who should care for your cherished pet after you have gone, and provide that person with the funds to continue the care.  Make sure to ask in advance if that person is willing to take on the responsibilities.


Litigator, Sherman warns that unless you make your own pre-paid funeral plans or specify otherwise in your will, in Florida only your next of kin has the right to make funeral and disposition of remains.  If you are aware of this Florida law, and are concerned that your “significant other” should have some rights in this regard, make sure to empower that person by making that provision a part of your will.  Choosing the wrong person can cause resentment and disputes.  Avoid having potentially huge charges against your estate for funeral and burial arrangements by making the plans yourself in advance of the need.


If you heed some of these “good advice” suggestions by Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida, Probate Litigation Lawyer, Kim Douglas Sherman, you can avoid running up unnecessary legal costs that reduce the size of your estate, resulting in your beneficiaries getting less.


To contact and to learn more about Fort Lauderdale Probate Litigation Attorney, Kim Douglas Sherman, visit his website: