Surviving spouse, widows can face estate planning challenges after a spouse passes away. Estate planning ensures your assets are distributed the way you want after your death. An estate plan helps you name those you want to receive the things you own after your death. This will give you peace of mind knowing you have protected your family and loved ones from those that may want to take advantage of them and the situation. A good estate plan can help avert future problems and take care of potential risks or harm to the wellbeing and future of children. Succession or inheritance disputes are common phenomena characterized by deep hostilities. Estate planning tips Estate planning tips to protect your family and ensure that your assets go to those you want when you die. Write a Will. Create a Will. Name Beneficiaries. Choose executors for your estate Outline your wishes in your estate planning documents (will or will and trust, power of attorney) Giving gifts to your desired heirs before your death. Distributing your assets by way of gifts while still alive to take effect after your death. A lawyer experienced in estate law can assist in this regard. Joint accounts and Joint ownership of property. Married couples can own real estate or financial accounts together. Own property jointly (to avoid probate take advantage of joint ownership) t Engage in Succession Planning. Business strategy by companies to pass on critical positions to future leaders when they transition. Invest in your wife. Empower your wife economically. Explore the benefits of living trusts Widowhood When your husband passes away, you can seek the help of an estate lawyer to address the legal issues that will arise. The attorney will help you understand your legal rights when it comes to the inheritance of your husband’s estate depending on the nature and extent of your family assets, real estate, bank accounts, investment portfolios and other holdings and planning that has been done. Using a lawyer will also help you through the probate process. Estate Mediation The best way in estate disputes. Estate mediation is a process that helps parties work through conflict arising from the distribution of the assets of a loved one who has passed away. Mediation is a collaborative form of alternative dispute resolution that occurs outside of court. It leads to an agreement between the parties in estate disputes work out a mutually satisfactory resolution. The use of mediation will help vulnerable widows access justice to resolve disinheritance issues between widows and in-laws or heirs of the deceased in widow disinheritance and maltreatment cases. In situations where the other party is not interested in amicable resolution the widow can lodge a report to the Police, Human Rights Commission or get help to go to court.