Responsive And Personalized Legal Counsel

  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Estate Disputes
  4.  » How to avoid a contested will

How to avoid a contested will

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2024 | Estate Disputes

Will contests occur when your heirs believe there are issues with your will. For instance, an heir may petition the court due to suspicions about coercion. They may also assert that there’s a more recent version of the document.

No matter the underlying reason, contested wills can be expensive and time-consuming. And while you cannot always avoid the situation, there are a few steps that decrease their likelihood.

Create a clear will

One of the most effective ways to prevent a contested will is by ensuring your will is clearly written. Explicitly outline your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets, including property, finances and personal belongings. Additionally, providing specific instructions can help minimize confusion and disagreements among your beneficiaries.

Communicate with family members

By keeping your family informed, you can reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings or resentment later on. Be sure to discuss your estate planning decisions with your loved ones and explain the rationale behind your choices. Also, address any concerns or questions they may have and try to reach a mutual understanding.

Update your will regularly

There are many times when you must update your will. Life circumstances can change, and updating your will regularly will reflect significant developments. Marriage, divorce, births, deaths or changes in financial status can all impact your estate planning needs. Review your will periodically and make revisions to keep it aligned with your intentions.

Choose an executor wisely

Executors have lots of important duties, such as dispersing assets to heirs. Accordingly, you must select the right executor to prevent will contests. Choose someone you trust and discuss your expectations with them beforehand. By appointing a capable and trustworthy executor, you can minimize the risk of disputes arising during the probate process.

Along with concerns about expenses, a contested will can also put immense strain on family. By taking proactive steps to create a clear and communicative will, you can spare your loved ones unnecessary heartache.