How to avoid a contested will

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2024 | Estate Planning

A will outlines how to distribute a person’s assets to their heirs. However, disagreements often arise. When these disagreements are serious, it can lead to a contested will.

Because contested wills can cause potentially lengthy legal battles, taking proactive steps during estate planning is a must.

Use clear and detailed communication

Clear communication can prevent many conflicts over a will. Ensure family members understand your intentions by discussing your decisions openly. Address any concerns they may have and maintain transparent communication. Doing so can minimize the likelihood of disputes after your passing.

Draft a comprehensive will.

A well-drafted will leaves little room for interpretation. Be thorough when outlining your wishes regarding your assets. Include specific instructions about who will inherit which assets and under what conditions.

Update your will regularly

Life circumstances change over time, and so should your will. There are many good reasons to update your will, such as a new marriage or divorce. You should also review your will periodically. Failing to update your will can result in discrepancies that may lead to disputes among your heirs.

Consider equal distribution

Unequal distribution of assets among heirs can lead to resentment. While it is your decision how to distribute your assets, consider whether an equal distribution among your heirs would prevent potential conflicts.

Leave a letter of explanation

In addition to your will, consider leaving a letter of explanation. This letter can provide insight into the reasoning behind your decisions, address concerns and express your wishes in a personal manner. A heartfelt letter can help prevent misunderstandings and foster harmony among your loved ones.

Creating a valid and comprehensive will not only saves your family money and time. It also spares them from conflict during an already emotionally tumultuous time.