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How to prevent others from contesting your will

When you create an estate plan, you do so for many reasons. At the top of your list is the ability to decide where your assets end up upon your death.

While there are many estate planning tools you can use to your advantage, there’s no guarantee of preventing a will contest. For example, you may have a child who always feels left out. And for that reason, you may have concerns that they’ll attempt to contest your will if the terms and conditions are unfavorable to them.

Here are some of the many things you can do to protect against a will contest:

  • Include a no-contest clause: With this in place, you deter others from challenging your will. It states that anyone who files a lawsuit against your estate will receive nothing, even if they’re named as a beneficiary.
  • Keep to yourself: The more you talk about your estate plan with others, the greater chance there is of a will contest. You don’t have to keep it a secret, but it never makes sense to say too much. Share the necessities with the loved ones who need to know.
  • Opt for a trust: There are many benefits of creating a trust, including the fact that the assets kept within it are not subject to probate. Another benefit is the privacy protection it affords. Unlike a will, a trust is never made public record. This means others will not be able to find out anything associated with the trust.
  • Make sure you only have one estate plan: As time passes, you’re likely to make changes to your estate plan. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, you want to amend the plan you already have in place. If you create one estate plan after the next, assuming that dating it is all you need to do, it can cause confusion upon your passing.

These are just a few of the many steps you can take to prevent others from contesting your will.

As long as you have a strategy and understand your legal rights, you’ll end up with an estate plan that gives you peace of mind.

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