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Can you prevent your children from challenging your last wishes?

On Behalf of | Jan 16, 2021 | Estate Planning

Siblings can fight over almost anything. You may have witnessed your children screaming over who got to use a certain color towel at the pool or fighting tooth-and-nail over the last donut as children. They may still fight like that as adults.

The more contentious a sibling relationship is, the more likely it is that your kids will fight over what you leave behind for them when you die. If you know that your kids are prone to conflict, is there anything that you can do to prevent them from challenging your wishes in your estate plan?

You can add clauses or create a trust to strengthen your estate plan

There are several ways that you can make it harder for people to challenge your will. Adding a no-contest clause that states that anyone who challenges it will lose their right to an inheritance is one approach. Moving your biggest assets in to a trust is another way to limit conflict. You can also focus on fairness when planning your estate.

However, perhaps the simplest way to prevent your children from fighting with each other over an inheritance is something but you can handle without your estate planning attorney

After you finish your estate plan, tell your family about it

Open communication and honesty about your intentions are probably the strongest tools you have to prevent a challenge of your will. Once you have a comprehensive estate plan, it makes sense to sit down and talk to all of your intended beneficiaries and anyone else who might assume they have a right to an inheritance.

Letting everybody know about your wishes while you’re alive and well will help alleviate any surprises and attempts to contest your estate plan.