How to reduce the likelihood of a will contest

| Feb 24, 2021 | Estate Planning |

If you are creating a will in Alabama, you might be worried that your family will try to challenge it in some way. There are certain steps you can take to reduce the likelihood that this will happen.

Clarity in your will

One of the most important things you can do to make your family less likely to contest your will is to discuss it with them. Knowing what to expect and why you made the decisions that you did can prevent conflict that might arise from misunderstanding your intentions. If you do not want to discuss it with them, you can leave a note in the will or write a separate letter explaining why you have made certain choices. Having a will that is correctly prepared can also make a challenge less likely. An attorney could help ensure that this is the case.

Grounds for a will contest

Another thing you may want to consider is the grounds on which people may contest a will. For example, family members might argue you were not competent to make a will or that you were unduly influenced by someone in creating it. You could make a video of yourself signing the will or take other steps to try to demonstrate your mental capacity. For example, you could visit a doctor who would agree that you are competent. You might want to discuss with an attorney how to best convey this.

It is also important that you review your will regularly to ensure that it remains up to date. Otherwise, even if you create a will that is unlikely to cause conflict at the time, the situation could change later. For example, you might get a divorce, have a new grandchild or change your mind about whom you have appointed as executor.