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3 tips on how to avoid a contested will

On Behalf of | Sep 2, 2021 | Estate Planning

Emotions may run high when your will is being read out among your beneficiaries, as some may feel shortchanged. This can lead to a will contest that may drag on for a while and delay its execution.

Given that a will reflects your last wishes, you want to avoid a contest among your dependents. Below are handy tips that you might want to consider.

Consider adding a no-contest clause in your will

Having a no-contest clause may dissuade a possible legal case. A no-contest clause states that whoever challenges a will and loses will not inherit from it. However, this may not be a silver bullet, and some people may choose to contest a will anyhow — particularly if the alternative is a minimal (or no) inheritance. 

Inform your beneficiaries beforehand

While it is not a legal requirement to disclose the contents of your will, being open and candid with the beneficiaries could avoid possible litigation. In addition, letting everyone know what is in it for them may help prevent any surprises.

Place your assets into a living trust

If there is no will, then there will not be a contest. The best way to go about it is by placing your assets in a revocable living trust where you will continue to use your money or assets under a living trust. Then, upon your demise, your estate will be distributed to your beneficiaries as per the terms of the trust. The terms of a trust can still be contested, but there are some advantages to it over a will, like increased privacy and avoiding probate.

All in all, a contested will can break down even the strongest of family bonds, and it is important to be a step ahead of everything. You may not be around to witness it, but the thought that there will be a peaceful inheritance process when you are not around can give you peace of mind.