You may think you have the perfect will in place to distribute your estate to the intended beneficiaries as per your wishes, only for it to be contested by one of your family members. Unfortunately, this may derail your estate plans since everything will have to be put on hold.
A will contest can drag on for months, and your beneficiaries are likely to suffer as a result. Family relations may also be affected, which is why it is important to avoid such a situation. Below are some tips that may come in handy.
Plan early and communicate your wishes
It is never too early to make plans for the future of your estate. Early planning will also enable you to communicate your wishes to your family, which may help avoid conflicts when you are gone.
Consider setting up a trust
You may choose to avoid a will by putting your assets in a trust. After you are gone, the trustee will execute the terms of the trust as per your agreement. Since your estate will no longer have to go through probate, the trustee will implement your wishes as you instructed.
One of the grounds for contesting a will is that you were legally incompetent when drafting or signing the will. You can avoid such claims by having an expert’s testimony or other evidence such as video footage that proves competence.
Use a no-contest clause
A no-contest clause can discourage a contest to your will. Given that a beneficiary stands to be disinherited if they challenge the will and lose, it will likely dissuade anyone from contesting it.
Ultimately, having a concrete estate plan is in the best interests of your estate and beneficiaries. As such, you should carefully weigh your options before settling on the way forward.