Creating a will is essential in ensuring that your assets and property are distributed according to your wishes after your death. However, despite your best intentions, there is always the risk that someone may contest your will, leading to a lengthy legal battle that can be emotionally and financially draining for your loved ones.
Fortunately, you can take steps to reduce the likelihood of a will contest.
Include a no-contest clause
The in-terrorem clause (no contest) is a stipulation in a will that discourages beneficiaries from challenging the document’s validity. This clause states that if someone contests the will and loses, they will forfeit their share of the inheritance.
Be transparent about your decisions
Communicating openly with your loved ones about your estate planning decisions can help reduce the likelihood of a dispute. If someone is surprised or feels unfairly left out of your will, they may be more likely to contest it. Explain your reasoning and be prepared to answer questions.
Update your will regularly
Life circumstances can change, and your will should reflect those changes. If your will is outdated, it may not accurately reflect your current wishes, leaving room for interpretation and disputes. Regularly update your will, especially after significant life events such as marriage, divorce or childbirth.
Get a medical evaluation
If you are concerned that someone may challenge your will on the grounds of mental incapacity or undue influence, consider getting a medical evaluation. A doctor can assess your mental capacity and confirm that you were of sound mind when you created your will. This can help prevent challenges based on these grounds.
Creating a will can help ensure that your assets and property are distributed according to your wishes after your death. By following these tips, you can help reduce the likelihood of a will contest and ensure that your final wishes are carried out as you intended.