Making an estate plan means preventing disputes among your heirs and beneficiaries. It also serves as silent proof of your actual intentions, and thus, should be respected. By putting out a will as a component of your plan, you ensure that your final decisions will be followed. However, it’s possible that all your meticulous planning and consideration will be put to waste if someone ultimately challenges your will.
Thus, making sure that it cannot be shaken will guarantee that your ultimate objectives are fulfilled.
Who is qualified to contest?
Will contests could only be filed by your children, spouse, and any individuals who are named in your codicil. And if one of them wishes to dispute a will, they must submit a challenge during the probate procedure.
For it to be considered, there should be substantial legal grounds regarding the will. For example, if the testator is proven to lack the mental capacity due to sickness or old age to sign their estate plan, the beneficiaries may contest it. Thus, the mere fact that someone disagrees with a will because they feel singled out or is upset and outraged over the terms of choice is no reasonable justification for contesting it.
So how do you make sure that your contract binding will be fulfilled?
Don’t put it off.
Preventing a will dispute begins with creating or updating your overall plan, and the best time to start planning your legacy is now when you still have your wits intact. At a period when it is evident that you are capable of making rational decisions and comprehending the full scope of the ramifications of those actions, rather than later when there’s a million chance to spark doubt of whether you truly understood what you were planning or otherwise.
If you are unsure about what you intend to accomplish, do not let it stop you from moving forward. Creating an estate strategy that achieves 80 % of the total of your objectives is preferable to taking no action at all. Avoiding future contests and conflicts is all about identifying the matter and resolving it as soon as possible rather than procrastinating and waiting until you run out of time.
Add a “no-contest clause” in your contract.
Including the terrorem clause in your revocable living trust declares that if somebody presses charges to question those you have supplied for in your overall plan, they will gain nothing from you, according to the terms of the clause.
This can serve as a strong disincentive to anyone who believes they are not getting enough of the significant portion of your estate. By all means, let them file a will dispute; nevertheless, make it clear that they will receive nothing if they lose.
Although this provision is standard, it should be used with caution because it is unconstitutional in some jurisdictions.
While you shouldn’t flaunt it, you shouldn’t hide it, either.
If you wish to trigger a will dispute, then brag about it across town and in public. Inform them about your plans and the actions you are currently taking to execute them.
Note that this isn’t the wisest way to proceed in the situation. Instead, try informing your family and friends of what you’ve created and why you did it. Although maintaining complete secrecy would make disdain, putting your dear ones in the loop will prevent any significant surprises. To properly execute this, consider speaking to your estate planning attorney first. After which, it would be best if you decided based on what you believe will best prevent a will challenge in your specific circumstance.
Have faith in your trust.
Drafting a revocable living trust is an appropriate vehicle to use since it is seen as a confidential document that the beneficiaries must keep secret. On the other hand, a will is a public document that anybody may access when it has been submitted with the probate court following your demise.
Furthermore, these are “living” contracts that encompass all periods of your life—from you being alive and healthy until after you’ve passed away. Wills are considered “dead” papers because they are only effective after the death of the person who created them.
In addition, you might want to start implementing a lifetime discretionary trust for problematic recipients who you are concerned would waste their inheritance. It is possible to make lifetime trusts adaptable and utilize them to assist a beneficiary in accomplishing various financial and personal objectives.
Preventing your will from being challenged can be accomplished by taking a few careful measures. Resting easy and ensuring that your final dying wish is carried out may bring about a great deal of relief and peace.