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Can you prevent your will from being contested?

On Behalf of | May 15, 2023 | Estate Planning |

The chances are not everyone may be happy with every decision you make in your estate plan. And this is something you may need to accept. Despite using a reliable criterion and considering crucial factors, some beneficiaries may find a reason to contest your will. Nonetheless, some reasons may be valid. 

Your will being contested can prolong the process, making it difficult for your beneficiaries to enjoy their inheritances sooner. But you can prevent this. Here is how:

Complete a competency evaluation with a doctor

Lack of testamentary capacity is one of the grounds for a will contest. Thus, completing a competency evaluation conducted by a psychiatrist or a psychologist can prevent anyone from using this as a cause for dispute. Put this report in the folder with your will. 

Discuss estate planning with all family members 

You can avoid will contests by having all family members present when discussing your estate plans. It can be challenging to do this, especially if you’re closer with some heirs than others, but the payoff is worth it. By talking about your plans communally with your heirs, you can avoid allegations that you were unduly influenced by just one of them.

Include a no-contest clause to discourage litigation

Including a no-contest clause in your will is another way to prevent it from being contested. A “no-contest” clause states that any heir who challenges the terms of your will loses their inheritance if they’re unsuccessful. That “carrot and stick” approach is often enough to discourage legal action. 

Creating a will that is contest-proof can be difficult. It can help to get legal guidance.

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