How to prevent someone contesting a will

by | Aug 23, 2021 | Probate Litigation

The passing of a loved one is a difficult time for their friends and family. If the decedent did not create a strong enough estate plan, their potential heirs might experience serious conflicts with one another over who deserves what amount from the estate. Additionally, incorrect estate planning can extend the time it takes to resolve matters by years or longer.

Thankfully you can take precautions to avoid will contestations and family infighting. Here are five strategies to help prevent any grounds for contestation:

Prove you signed the will

A video recording of your making your will official can remove any doubt that you were the one who made it in the first place. Your lawyer can help you create the video in a way that includes the necessary information.

Establish competency

One of the grounds for contesting a will is that the testator was not of sound mind when they made their will. Completing competency tests from a doctor can help avoid anyone calling your mental capacity into question after your passing.

Have a no-contest clause

A good way to keep someone from contesting a will is to incentivize them not to. By leaving an individual something in your will on the condition that they only receive it if they do not interfere with the resolution of the estate, you can keep people from delaying or changing the results of your will.

Explain your decisions

When a will only states what will happen with the estate rather than explain why, family members may question your decisions and try to challenge the will. Make a point to clarify why you made the decisions that are in the will, and it can help prevent unnecessary challenges.

Properly create your will

One of the most common reasons someone can use to challenge a will is that the testator (the person who made the will) did not create it properly. Make sure the witnesses that sign your will are not related to you or the matters in the will in any capacity. Having an experienced attorney help you draft the will can also eliminate any grounds for contestations. Make sure you talk to an attorney you can trust with putting your wishes into a secure and trustworthy document that will reduce the chances of someone challenging your will.