How to Protect Your Will from Being Contested

Contesting a Will is Never Pleasant

When a family member dies, their estate must be divided and shared amongst other family members or those selected to receive a portion. This is often based on what is written in the deceased person’s will, however not all families agree on what is written there. Having your family arguing when they are already going through grief is something that we are sure that you would like to avoid at all costs. This is why we have put together some tips on how you can prevent any inheritance disputes from happening.  

Why Inheritance Disputes Happen

There are many reasons why people disagree when it comes to inheritance and your family might disagree with what you have planned for your estate. These include things like suspected fraud, lack of valid execution or if they feel that you were not in your sound mind when you wrote the will. Writing a will is very important and if you don’t have one your estate will be left up an outside source to divide. This can also cause some serious disputes between your children or other family members. This is why you should always make sure to write a will.

If your family members disagree with the decisions that have been made, they might contact a law firm like The Inheritance Experts who will do everything they can to help them get what they deserve – they have a 98% success rate so the chances of the dispute being successful is highly likely. When you are writing your will, there are certain things that you can do to avoid these types of disputes happening. Next, we are going to talk about the measures that you can put in place.

Make Sure to Write A Will

This tip seems obvious, but it is very important. A lot of people don’t think that they will need a will until they are much older, but the reality is that accidents happen and writing a will can be very important. This is especially important if you have children who will need to be looked after by a guardian of your choice. Neglecting to write a will can mean that they end up somewhere that you wouldn’t want them to. When you don’t write a will, your property and money will be divided up by an outside source. This can cause a lot of disputes between family members as they are sure that it is not what you would have wanted. Writing a will is also important to reduce the amount of inheritance tax that is applied to your estate. You’ll want your loved ones to receive as much as possible so make sure to write a will and then get started on our next steps!

Be Clear

It is very important that you are totally clear in the wording of your will. Any sort of ambiguous statements can lead your family members to questions what you meant exactly. If you are clear and give details, you can expect them to understand your exact wishes. If you have previously written another will, make sure to make it clear that this will is the final draft. You won’t want family members arguing about which will is the one that should be followed.

Show That You Are of Sound Mind

One of the biggest reasons that family members try to contest wills is that they think that you might not have been of sound mind when you wrote it. This is especially true for elderly people who might be starting to lose their mind a bit. You can get around this type of claim by providing evidence that you are well aware of what is going on. You can ask a GP to sign a document that will prove this, and it will save your family from any claims.

The Will Making File

When it comes to the time that you are writing your will, you should make sure that your solicitor takes notes. These notes should include a lot of detail on what you want and how you want your estate to be divided. You should also ask them to keep this file safe so that any disputes can be ruled out when your family members ask to view the file. Having all of this information will reduce the questions that your family has about your will and save them arguing.

Leaving People Out

Often when wills are read, family members who have not been included question why this is the case. Of course, it is possible that you may have forgotten someone by accident, but it is important that you are clear. If you are planning on leaving a close family member out of your will, you can write a ‘letter of wishes’ which explains exactly why you have chosen to do this. This means that when it comes to the time of the reading, they will be able to know how you feel and they will be unable to dispute their claim to your estate. You can also write it into your will if you are happy enough with it being read in front of your entire family, although we can understand why this might not be the case.

Keep It Private

If you are planning on writing your will with a solicitor, it is recommended that you keep your planning content private. This can be very problematic if you decide to change your will in the future as certain family members may think that they deserve the inheritance that you had previously promised them. Keeping your will private is very important in reducing the number of inheritance disputes in the future. Don’t make promises to people when you write your will early on in life, especially if you are likely to have more children or you might have another partner by the time that you die.

Your Family Business

Our final tip for you is to consider is the future of your family business. It is important that you choose to pass your family business on to those who have been a part of the general running of it. You’ll want the business to run smoothly and so choosing to pass it on to someone who does not know how to run it can be a reckless decision. Having a seamless transition will help with the grief that your family will feel so make sure to think carefully about how you are going to go about this.

Summary

Overall, there are lots of things that you can do to ensure that your family have fewer inheritance disputes. The most important step is to actually have a will written in case of any emergencies.  After that, you can worry about other important things like making your will clear and proving that you are of sound mind. Make sure that you choose a reliable solicitor who is experienced in dealing with the sort of estate that you have. They will be in charge of looking after the will making file so having as much detail on it as possible is very important. Death can have a huge impact on your loved ones and so you should make sure that you have everything organised if something were to go wrong!

KJ