How to Prevent Your Family from Contesting Your Will
A will can be argued against/contested mainly by the children and spouse of the individual that has written it. Moreover, it’s worth keeping in mind that anyone mentioned/included in it has the possibility to go against it as well.
Therefore, people with large families might want to ensure that no one will be able to fight their will after their death. Overall, as a Springfield will lawyer states, will holders must ensure that everything stated in the will doesn’t raise any valid legal doubts.
Basically, if their will is as clear as daylight, family and relatives won’t be able to contest it!
Start Estate Planning Early
If you rush when it comes to will drafting or estate planning, you’ll most likely do some things wrong. Naturally, some of those things might allow one or two individuals mentioned in your will to contest it, for their own gain and personal benefits.
As such, estate planning should be done quite early, so to speak. Doing so also allows you to properly update it when needed.
No-Contest Clause Inclusion
Obviously, there’s also the option that you add a no-contest clause to your will. While it doesn’t prevent anyone from actually contesting the will, it prevents anyone who does so to receive any goods and so on from the estate.
In short, no-contest clauses will cancel everything a person is entitled to via a will if they lose their contest.
Who Should Know About Your Plans?
Unlike in movies, one should share the information within their will/estate plan at least with their family or loved ones. This is to avoid any major surprises when the time comes and the terms of the will are applied.
Keep your family informed, but don’t boast about the fact that you’re not going to give anything to that one son of yours who went abroad and never came back. Doing so could make it easier for them to contest your will.
Updating Your Will/Estate Plan
As mentioned above, you should update your will or estate plan regularly, at least once a year. Things change and the same might happen when it comes to how you feel about some points in your will.
The son that left years ago might come back and you might change your opinion about him entirely, in which case you might want to give him a spot in your will. Forgetting to do so could lead to major family issues, to say the least.
Last but not least, one can avoid a will contest by – well, by simply not having a will at all. But, since the lack of such a document is troublesome, living trusts are recommended.
These allow people to put what they own in a trust and use money/assets from within it as well. When the time comes, those listed as beneficiaries will be given/share your estate, depending on the terms you have established.
The Bottom Line
A will or estate plan is not something as simple and feeble as we see in TV shows. If done properly, no one has the right to contest it. Then, if done exceptionally well, the ones that contest it will get nothing from what they’re entitled to if they lose.
This is why it’s essential to have a will lawyer by your side. They’ll help you with more than just the drafting of your will!