A will is a common and excellent way for estate holders to make their wishes for their estate clear. However, there are certain instances where the court may not fully honor those wishes.
The most common way is if a beneficiary or heir contests the plan for the estate. There are a few means for estate holders to try to safeguard their estates against will contest.
Estate beneficiaries or heirs may contest a will during the probate process. The petitioning party must present an argument for why he or she believes that the will does not properly reflect the estate holder’s wishes. If the judge agrees, she or he may completely overturn the will or modify certain portions of it. One way to aid in fortifying a will against such actions is to consult with an attorney during the creation of the will. As a knowledgeable professional, an attorney can aid in making it clear that the will correctly reflects the estate holders’ final wishes in full.
Estate holders may include provisions within their wills, such as a challenger provision. This specific provision states that if a party contests the will and does not succeed, that person receives less of the estate or may forfeit it completely.
According to the will laws, parties must be of age and in a proper mindset to create a valid will. In many cases of will contest, parties tend to assert that the testator was not of sound mind at the time of creating the will. To guard against such claims, estate holders may employ a few different strategies to establish their mindset at the time. This may include recording the will, having witnesses present when validating the will or including a mental evaluation from a physician.
While these measures cannot guarantee that beneficiaries will not take action against an estate holder’s wishes, implementing them may be helpful. It may also be beneficial for estate holders to discuss their wishes with the beneficiaries in advance and take the time to address any issues they may have.