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5 Ways to Avoid a Will Contest

Estate Planning, WillsNo Comments

last will 150x150 5 Ways to Avoid a Will ContestWhen inheritances are made unequally, it usually means that the will could face a contest in court.  While there are many good reasons for giving unequal distributions, your heirs may not agree with the decisions you’ve made.

Here are 5 tips for heading off a will contest if you plan to give unequal shares to heirs:

Explain why.  It’s best to let children know why you have decided to structure your will to provide more or less for each child.  If you can’t do it face-to-face, then include a letter in your will.

Provide evidence of capacity.  Again, a letter in your will explaining disparities can help you prove your capacity to make the decisions you made.  If you want to make a video, consult first with your estate planning attorney – or better yet, have them there when you do it.

Gift now.  If one child needs more help than the others, consider making gifts now while you are still alive rather than unequal distributions via your will.  Then you can make everything even after you pass.

No-contest clause.  This can deter your heirs from filing a claim if your will includes a clause that disinherits those who file suit.

Update your will.  Be sure you keep your will up to date, making changes as necessary and as the lives of you and your family change.

To learn more about effective estate planning, contact our Orange County law firm.