You can’t easily stop the challenge to an estate plan but you can limit its chances of success.
The Washington Blade recently published an article “Myths of estate planning,” which discusses the steps that can be taken to limit the chance of success for any challenges.
The steps include:
- Always keep your will up to date. Make sure it reflects your current life situation and does not contain provisions that would give assets to people who have long since passed away.
- You can include a no-contest clause in your will providing that anyone who challenges the terms of the will receives nothing from it. However, be advised that courts have the power to strike out these clauses if they think a challenge was made in good faith.
- Keep a copy of older wills just in case your current will is ruled invalid. The old will might then be declared valid.
- Take whatever steps necessary to document your “legal capacity” at the time you execute your will, so it will be forever clear you were competent to do so and were not being unduly influenced by anyone.
An estate planning attorney can help guide you through the process and help reduce the chances that a challenge will be upheld.
Reference: Washington Blade (Aug. 12, 2016) “Myths of estate planning,”