question.jpgIn Trusts and Estates

How can I avoid having my will challenged?

There is nothing you can do to definitively ensure that your will won’t be challenged. However, there are certain things you can do to help avoid a will contest, or to at least make a will contest less likely. While each state has its own specific laws regarding what steps you can take and whether they will help avoid will contests, the general steps include:

1. Putting a “no-contest provision” in your will, which is a provision stating that if anyone challenges your will and is not successful (so that the will is found valid), they lose the right to inherit whatever the will gives them. For example, if I put such a provision in my will and my son challenges the will when I die, if my will is ultimately found to be valid, he would not be entitled to whatever property the will said he would get (assuming the state where the will is in probate recognizes no-contest provisions as being valid).

2. Giving an explanation in your will as to why you are distributing your property in a specific way.

3. Keeping and preserving evidence relating to the will, including your preparation and execution of it.

4. Keeping and preserving older wills when you make new ones.