If you have not yet made a will, it is essential to do so soon. However young you are, however much time you think you have to worry about estate planning, surprises can happen.
Creating a will ensures that the assets you have reach the people you want when you die. Yet, some people do not realize that others can challenge a will and challenge their wishes.
Taking a few simple steps can increase the chances that your will serves its purpose
Here are a few things to reduce the chance of a will contest:
- Avoid secrecy: Once you make a will, tell a few different people that you have one and where to find it. Consider explaining to people what your will says, especially where your choices may surprise them. Explaining your decisions reduces the chance of suspicion between people after your death.
- Consider a no-contest clause: If you think someone might contest your will, you can include a no-contest clause to deter them from doing so. They may still be able to file a challenge for specific legal reasons, but it will penalize them for frivolous or selfish attempts to go against your wishes.
- Review your will regularly: As you go through life, things will change, and your will must account for these changes. If you forget to add a new child to your will, they may need to challenge an older sibling to get a share. If you forget to include new assets you acquire, people may fight over who you intended to leave them to.
Remember that a will is a legal document. Creating your will in accordance with state requirements is essential to prevent someone challenging it on a technicality.