Estate plans that involve large accounts and property often come with conflict. Estate planning is so important because it provides clear guidelines as to how the estate should be handled which can in turn prevent dispute. However, the chance of a will contest can throw your careful planning out the window, if your estate is not secure.
When a beneficiary or other loved one contests your will, it can create unnecessary conflict and delay the process, making everything more difficult for your other beneficiaries.
There are three important tips you can use to secure your plan and prevent potential will contests: transparency, sensibility and longevity.
People often run into problems when they are not clear with their loved ones about their estate and their estate plan. Sometime your loved ones and potential beneficiaries can have incorrect expectations about what they are entitled to or how they factor into your estate plan. Being transparent and discussing these expectations can help you and your loved ones avoid unpleasant surprises and unexpected conflict down the road.
Being sensible during the estate planning process can help ensure a will contest is less likely to succeed. Sensibility during this process can mean taking several legal steps to block the main causes of will contests. These include making sure your will is properly executed with the help of an estate planning attorney, taking time to prove your competency or even including a no-contest clause in your will. Taking the right steps and planning thoughtfully is the best way to sensibly plan your estate.
Another issue that can cause a successful will contest is a lack of staying power in your will. A good estate plan needs to be regularly reviewed and updated. Your plan can become susceptible to contest if it does not accurately reflect your current estate. Taking time to review and update your plan every three years can help prevent an unwanted contest when the time comes.
Estate planning is a long and sometimes complicated process. You do not want your hard work overturned by a will contest. Using these three tips can help you ensure your plan is secure and effective, so your loved ones do not have to bear the burden of a contest.