Creating a solid will and estate plan helps secure your legacy and ensures you can provide for your loved ones.
Unfortunately, the death of a loved one may lead to family members fighting about the will. To prevent potential disputes and challenges to your wishes, take certain measures when crafting your estate plan.
1. Choose reliable witnesses
When signing your will, select trustworthy individuals to act as witnesses. Witnesses should be of sound mind, unrelated to beneficiaries and willing to testify if necessary. Their presence can help confirm the validity of your will and discourage challenges.
2. Maintain records of your intentions
Document your thought process and intentions behind your estate plan. This can include written explanations of why you made certain decisions or recordings of conversations where you discussed your wishes. These records can serve as valuable evidence in case of any disputes.
3. Use a no-contest clause
Including a no-contest in your will can deter beneficiaries from challenging it. Such a clause typically states that any beneficiary who contests the will will forfeit their inheritance if they lose in court.
4. Update your estate plan regularly
Life circumstances frequently change. Ensure your will and estate plan reflect your current situation. Review and update them whenever significant events occur, such as births, deaths, marriages, divorces or changes in assets. Keeping your plan up-to-date minimizes the likelihood of disputes arising from outdated information.
As one of 34% of Americans who have set up an estate plan, you expect your wishes to get carried out as intended. Taking these proactive steps to create a clear and well-documented estate plan can significantly reduce the chances of a contested will.