How can I prepare for a possible will contest?

On Behalf of | Nov 21, 2022 | Probate

While many families do not get into legal fights over the will of a relative, you may have reason to fear that one or more family members could contest your will after your death. If so, you should understand how to answer possible challenges to your will while you are still alive.

According to Kiplinger, it is possible to reinforce the validity of your will by creating forms of evidence that may refute challenges against your estate document.

Establish your competency

Some family members litigate a will on the grounds that the testator lacked the mental competency to sign the will. To establish your testamentary capacity, two different doctors could examine you and sign statements certifying your competency. You may attach these statements to your will.

Document your will execution

Creating evidence to show that you have executed your will in a valid manner might prevent accusations that another party exerted undue influence on you. Some steps can include the following:

  • Record yourself signing the will
  • Record witnesses signing the will
  • Have each witness offer a signed statement
  • Have the notary provide a signed statement

In addition, you may use a video recording to describe your dispositive plans and your wishes for your beneficiaries.

Make a statement confirming the will

It is not uncommon to revoke an old will in favor of an updated one. If you want to establish that your current will is the one you want a court to honor, you might create a written or recorded statement verifying the valid version of your will.

Your efforts to fortify your estate plans could be worth it even if a family member does contest your will. Your supporting documents and video may provide your family with enough evidence to quickly resolve the contest and prevent further delay.