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Protecting your will against contestation

On Behalf of | Aug 17, 2023 | Estate Planning |

As someone who worked hard their entire life to accumulate their estate, you naturally want it distributed according to your wishes. You may want to ensure your loved ones are cared for if you ever become incapacitated.

A person contesting your will can put your wishes and plans at risk. While you may hear of will contestation mostly in the context of wealthy or famous people, it is far from uncommon, especially when the estate in question is large. While you may not be able to prevent a contestation completely, there are ways you can safeguard against one.

Leave token amounts to troublesome individuals

If you anticipate arguments from certain people, it is important to head them off. A common, sometimes successful, tactic is to argue that the deceased simply forgot to include a person. You can avoid this by leaving a token sum, like a dollar, to any people you worry might contest the will.

Tell involved individuals

Blindsiding individuals is a surefire way to cause conflict. If you believe the contents of your will may cause contention, revealing them beforehand can help stave off future trouble.

Leave evidence of your soundness of mind

Other common grounds individuals base a contestation on are incompetency or coercion of the will writer. To show that nobody forced you into your decisions and that you were of sound mind while making them, you can leave behind a signed and witnessed letter explaining the reasoning behind your choices. Alternatively, you can make a video of yourself explaining them, with trusted individuals not included in the will as witnesses or helpers.

Your will is the manifestation of your desires and a tool to care for loved ones. By taking precautions, you can help shield it from those who want to overturn it.