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Principled Advocacy For Families And Individuals With Disabilities And The Professionals Who Serve Them

Can you prevent your will from being contested?

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2022 | Estate Planning

A will contest can tear a family apart. Siblings may go against each other over ownership of the estate’s assets leading to a permanent fallout. If you do not wish to leave such chaos in your wake after you are gone, you might want to start preparing early enough and staying ahead of the situation.

You first need to understand what could lead to a will contest. Some of the reasons include fraud, undue influence, lack of legal capacity to make the will or technical flaws such as not having witnesses present, amongst others.

Understanding these reasons will help you know what you need to do to minimize the chances of a contest to your will. Below are some useful tips:

Communication is key

It is advisable to explain some of the decisions you have made regarding the distribution of the estate. Communicating to the beneficiaries beforehand will ensure that no one is caught by surprise when the will is read.

Consider a no-contest clause

A no-contest clause may work to prevent a will but only to some extent. The clause comes with a condition to discourage a contest. It provides that if the person who chooses to challenge the will loses, they will get nothing from the estate.

Seal any legal loopholes

Erase any doubts about your sanity, health and ability to make a legally valid will. For instance, you can have mental competency tests done by a medical professional to show that you were not suffering from any kind of serious age-related mental decline at the time you made your will.

Explore other options

A will is not the only way to distribute your estate after you are gone. You could utilize other options such as trusts to get the job done without the risk of a contest.

Ultimately, everything is in your hands, and the decisions you make now will determine whether or not there will be disputes among your heirs regarding the estate.