How to Avoid Fights Over Inheritance

Experts say a will alone is insufficient to prevent family squabbles.

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"People should be appointing someone to act of their behalf if they became disabled," O'Sullivan says. "Even if they're married, the laws of states are different and in many, the spouse is not legally allowed to make [healthcare] decisions."

He says it's also important for young people to explicitly name the person who will care for them should they become disabled.

"Disability, especially for younger people, is a very high risk compared to death," he says. "A lot of individuals think the spouse automatically has the authority to make decisions on a disabled husband or wife's behalf. In many states, that's just not the case."