This Vancouver legal blog has previously discussed some of the benefits of establishing a solid estate plan during one's lifetime to protect the passage of the planner's assets and wealth at the time of their death. Although many problems can be anticipated during the estate planning process it is sometimes very challenging to avoid having one's will challenged once it is to take effect. This post will touch on a few of the strategies an estate planner may employ to reduce the chances of seeing their will challenged, though individuals are asked to speak with their own attorneys to ensure that they have done what they can to solidify their own wishes for their estate planning documents.
First, an estate planner should make it explicitly clear that any parties they wish to disinherit are name as such in their will. In some cases a disinherited party may claim that they were simply forgotten or left out of a will if no specific provision is included to demonstrate the estate planner's intentions; in some cases, an estate planner may leave a person a nominal inheritance instead of disinheriting them simply to avoid this possible problem.
Building on the issue of a potentially forgotten heir, estate planners should review and update their wills as needed to ensure that they are complete. In some cases, the creator of a will may have children or grandchildren after the initial creation of their will and if the document is not updated those new heirs may be left out of their shares of the estate planner's wealth.
Finally and only if it may be done without creating tension or concern, an estate planner may wish to share limited information about their plan with their loved ones. If possible beneficiaries of parties will know what to expect before the death of the estate planner then they may be more likely to accept the will as it is rather than to challenge its contents.
These are only a few of the ways a person may take confusion and the threat of challenge out of their will. To learn more estate planning strategies readers are asked to speak with their estate planning lawyers.
Source: greenbaypressgazette.com," Ways to avoid a will or trust contest," Carissa Giebel, March 27, 2017