How to prevent loved ones from contesting my will

On Behalf of | Jan 16, 2018 | Wills |

Whether you are finally getting around to creating your estate plans or revising and updating them in Duluth, part of your goal should be to prevent disputes. Not everyone is going to agree with your final instructions. A poorly written will and estate plan can open the door for your loved ones to contest it. A contested will often comes at the expense of the estate.

You may have the best of intentions and want to provide for certain people in your family, but you should also create your plans to prevent contests. Here are some ways you can prevent your loved ones from disputing your estate plans to preserve everyone’s inheritance and your legacy.

Include a no-contest clause

You can specify for any heir who disputes or challenges the contents of your estate plans to not inherit from the plans. This is an in terrorem clause (no contest clause). It can be an effective dispute deterrent for individuals who stand to lose a significant inheritance from your estate plans.

Talk to your loved ones in advance

You should not wait until you are on your deathbed to talk to your family about your estate plans. Arrange a meeting to speak with them now. Inform them about your plans and reasons. Try not to keep them in the dark about your intentions. You do not necessarily need to disclose exact value amounts for everyone’s inheritance, but you should give them an idea to eliminate surprises. Sharing this information with your relatives and loved ones now gives everyone the opportunity to come to terms with your decision.

Use trusts

Certain trusts allow you to keep everything you include in them private while you are alive and after you die. You can use them to keep your loved ones from knowing what everyone else’s inheritances are unless they talk about them. Anyone the trust does not name does not have legal standing to dispute it.

You may think that by making your estate contest-proof you are protecting your loved ones from additional pain, turmoil and loss. But you are also taking measures to protect yourself and everything you have worked hard to attain.

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