How to Try and Ensure That Your Will Won’t Be Contested

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In the recent past, more and more people have taken will-related disputes to court, and the number is expected to rise. The increase in property value is one of the leading reasons why your family may contest your will and fight over the inheritance. You can, however, help to try and ensure that your will is never disputed by following the tips below.

1. Make Your Intentions Known Early

The reasons for the way you want your property divided in your will are numerous and are always known best by you. It could be that you trust one family member more than another or that you want to help a particular family member because he/she is financially unstable. Whatever your reasons are, you need to declare your intentions publicly and early to avoid any disputes that may arise. Members of your family will come to accept your decision over time once you make it known soon enough. The time of your passing will be full of a lot of emotions that can lead to several disputes concerning your will especially if some members feel like they were left out or that they received less than fair inheritance.

2. Make Your Will as Early as Possible

Do not wait for old age to begin making your will as it can be contested on grounds that you were not mentally stable. Ensure you create your will early enough when it is clear that you are of sound mind and that you can make informed decisions without the influence of others. When you make your will early enough, it is almost impossible to contest it since it is quite clear that you understood the consequences of your decision. Most people don’t want to make their will early because they are uncertain whether they might want to change it. This is, however, not an issue since you could always update your will at any time should you feel like. It is advisable that you make your will as early as possible and simply update it over time.

3. Include a No Contest Clause

You can include a no-contest clause in your will which states that anyone who challenges it will receive nothing. A no-contest clause is very efficient especially if someone was planning to go to court because they feel that they received less than the fair amount of inheritance. The possibility of losing everything will ensure that there are no will disputes. It is, however, paramount that you seek advice from professionals, for example The Inheritance Experts who offer free consults, when you want to include the no-contest clause since it is not enforceable in some regions and it may have certain exceptions that can render it useless. Inheritance disputes are always bound to spring up, and a no-contest clause can come in handy.

4. Review Your Will Periodically

Once you have made your will, it is essential that you don’t just throw it in your drawer without ever going through it again. When you consistently sit down with your lawyer and make a few tweaks or changes, then your family members will appreciate your efforts and are less likely to contest it. You could also make changes according to your financial situations and ever-changing family. Family members will also find it difficult to challenge a will that you have reviewed several times since it can be assumed that you put a lot of thought and time into every decision.

5. Transfer Assets While You Are Alive

One strategy that can ensure that your will is not contested is merely transferring your assets before you pass away. When you give away the inheritance early enough, there will be no assets left for anyone to claim and therefore there will be no dispute at all. This is, however, a risky strategy because you risk being left with no support. Whoever you give the inheritance to may just turn on you and take off to do what they please with the assets. Ensure you take a lot of factors into consideration before you decide on giving away your assets before your death because there could be severe consequences.

6. Ensure Your Will Is Detailed

One of the simplest ways to ensure that your will is not contested is including lots and lots of details. It is crucial that you stipulate why you want your assets divided in that particular order and your reasons for not giving everyone an equal share. State your reasons for each decision that you made and ensure that you are subtle about it. Do not use spiteful language because it just might be grounds to revoke your will as biased. Once you state your reasons positively and factually, it will be difficult to dispute your will.

7. Include a Capacity Report

We already discussed how a will can be disputed on the argument that you were not in the right state of mind especially if you are aged above seventy or if you had any history of mental illness. It is of added advantage if you could include a capacity report in your will to dispute any arguments of mental disability when writing your will. A capacity report is a document which states that you are able to write a will since you are of fit mind. You may feel that a capacity report is unnecessary at the moment, but it can help prove you were of a healthy mental state when writing the will and therefore make it indisputable.

8. Do Not Make Any Promises

It is crucial that you don’t promise any of your assets to anyone while you are still alive. A promise is binding especially if the person suffered any sort of detriment, including financial, in the hopes that they would get the promised inheritance. This case is especially prevalent in farming families where, for example, children might work on the farm with no pay but just the expectation that they will inherit the estate in future. If you fail to include any of the children in the will, then they could contest your will because they suffered detriment and are therefore entitled to the inheritance.

9. Ensure Your Will Is Fair

It is critical that you ensure your will is somewhat fair to avoid any disputes. If you want to leave someone out of your will entirely but you are concerned about any conflict that might arise, then it is a good idea to leave them at least something. It is also critical that you will leave more assets to your spouse when compared to all other family members because naturally, they need it more. It is also unrealistic for you to leave the most of your assets to your already wealthy child, while you leave the least of your assets to your financially struggling child.

 

It is essential that you seek proper legal advice when you decide to write your will. There are so many elements to a will that require the help of a professional to ensure that it is not contested. There are no guarantees that your family members won’t decide to dispute your will, but the tips above should help ensure that the court honours it. Take your time when writing your will to provide clear outlines of how you want your assets divided.

January 31, 2018 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
Posted in: Uncategorized