Your last will and testament should be just what it says it is — your last will. However, sadly, an end-of-life scenario does not always play out in the same way that the deceased had planned. Instead, families contest the will and dismantle everything the individual had planned. Fortunately, with proper will planning, you can create a solid will that is difficult to contest to ensure that your final desires are executed.
Again, this document should be the last will and testament of the deceased, not someone else. For this reason, when a loved one believes that a will was drafted under undue influence, they will commonly contest it. One common area where this issue arises is when the witness to the will is also someone who will greatly benefit from its details.
To avoid this issue, it is often best to have a neutral party serve as the witness, which is often someone who is not listed as a beneficiary in the document. With this undue influence removed, there is less room to question the will.
Clear and Concise Instruction
Aim to be very direct with the contents of the will. This is the one place to be black and white, as there should be no gray areas. Gray areas lead to questions, and in the eyes of the law, questions open the door to a contest.
For example, consider if you leave one vacation property to your son and the other to your daughter. Either party could argue about which property their parent said they would inherit. Something as simple as listing the address that each party would inherit makes it more concise.
It is always a good idea to involve an attorney in the execution of your will. It is also an easier process. Generally, you simply provide the attorney with the details you want to include in the document. The attorney will then prepare the will based on the legal guidelines in your state.
An attorney can also add certain parameters to the document, such as a no-contest clause. This process involves a legal instruction that essentially requires that the party who contests the will give up their inheritance if the court determines that their claim is frivolous.
Again, it is encouraged that you partner with an attorney to create a rock-solid will that will keep your wishes and desires at the forefront. For more information on will planning, contact a professional near you.Share