Even if you have every asset and beneficiary spelled out in your will, someone can still contest it. So make an estate plan that is not open for interpretation but instead precise. Make sure that you address every beneficiary and even mention the people you intentionally left out of the estate plan.
5 Tips for a Comprehensive Estate Plan
There are several reasons why someone may choose to contest a will. When you go through these steps, you will ensure that your estate plan is ironclad:
1. Get a Competency Exam: Someone may contest a will because they may say you weren’t competent when you created the will. So include a competency exam by a medical professional that states you are of a sound and competent mind.
2. Write a Letter Explaining Your Intentions: There will be less room for interpretation when you include a letter with your will. For example, someone may say that you meant to leave the cabin to them because you knew they love the outdoors. If you have a letter that explains why you left the cabin to the other beneficiary, it cannot be contested.
3. Acknowledge Those Left Out of the Will: You may worry about hurting feelings, but it is best to acknowledge those not included in the will. For example, if you do not mention a child, they may argue that they were left out by mistake. To be clear, you can state that a specific child is not included in the will intentionally. You do not have to specify why.
4. Create a Living Trust: A trust is protected from probate at the time of death. When you create a living trust, you appoint someone in charge of that trust that follows the rules. Also, those who are not directly related to the deceased cannot request access to the trust.
5. Add a No-Challenge Provision: Draft up a no-challenge provision if it is applicable in your state. You can specify that no beneficiary is to challenge the will.
Once you have covered all bases and protected your will against holes that may send your assets into probate, you can rest easy and know that all of your assets will be distributed according to your wishes.
If you have more questions about drafting up a will or full estate plan, our Miles & Hatcher LLP team can help. We would love to help you with your estate planning and make sure nothing is forgotten. Call today to schedule a free consultation: (909) 481-4080.