How to make a challenge to a will less likely

Some people who are creating an estate plan might be concerned that it could be vulnerable to challenges. There are ways to make a will contest less likely. First, people should not put off creating a will. The document should be made when there is no question about the person’s mental competence. Some people may postpone creating a will because they are uncertain about all the details, but it is better to have a will that is mostly what a person wants than to have nothing at all.

A no-contest clause states that if a person unsuccessfully contests the will, they will get nothing. This may be enough to prevent a challenge. However, it can help to discuss the estate plan with the family ahead of time. The fewer surprises they have ahead of them, the less likely they might be to contest the will.

People might also want to consider creating a trust. Unlike a will, this is a private document. Trusts can be useful in a number of ways. For example, a person who is concerned that a beneficiary might be irresponsible with money can place the money in a trust and tie distributions to certain milestones or accomplishments. Finally, a person should review their estate plan periodically to see if changes in the family, laws or assets mean it needs to be updated.

There are other aspects of estate planning a person might want to consider as well. One part of an estate plan is preparing in case of becoming incapacitated. This can involve choosing people to take care of the person’s finances and health care if the person cannot express their wishes. A power of attorney might be used to appoint someone to manage finances, or a trust could do this. A health care power of attorney can put someone in charge of medical decisions. If an individual has questions about their options, an estate law attorney may offer assistance.