Wills exist to pass on the final wishes of the deceased. They are the embodiment of the last remnant of their human will.
However, it is not uncommon for wills to face challenges, especially when they involve large assets. By taking steps during the construction of wills, individuals can help protect theirs from contestation.
A key element in preventing will contestation is crafting a will with clear and unambiguous language. Using precise wording and avoiding vague or confusing terms helps eliminate potential misinterpretations that may lead to disputes among beneficiaries. It also leaves less room for challengers to twist words.
The presence of credible witnesses who can attest to the testator’s mental capacity and voluntary signing can act as a powerful deterrent against potential challenges. Properly executed signatures further reinforce the validity of a will.
Have mental capacity documentation
To protect a will from contestation, it is advisable to include documentation that attests to the mental capacity of the individual creating the will. This documentation can include medical records, assessments or statements from healthcare professionals, providing evidence of the testator’s sound mind at the time of drafting the will.
Updating the will regularly and informing beneficiaries of these changes can prevent misunderstandings. It can also prepare them so they do not get surprised by the contents of the wills. Leaving behind letters or videos explaining reasoning is also beneficial, especially if there is a no contestation clause or token amount left as another tactic to prevent contestation.
Many Americans do not have wills. One reason for this is they do not know how to write them. An important factor to consider when constructing one is preventing contestation. By communicating clearly and frequently and proving competency while writing the will and the legitimacy of the will itself, individuals can help ward off successful challenges even after they pass.