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Preparing for the possibility of will contestation after you pass

On Behalf of | May 27, 2022 | Estate Planning

Your will is more than just a piece of paper. It is the declaration of your final wishes and the testament of your legacy.

To ensure that your desires come to pass when you are unable to oversee their passage yourself and that your loved ones receive exactly what you intend them to, you may want to take steps to help ward off the possibility of other individuals contesting your will and possibly breaking it.

Leave evidence that supports that you were in your right mind

Grounds for contesting a will in Pennsylvania include fraud, improper execution, forgery and undue influence. You can help refute claims of fraud or undue influence by showing that you were mentally competent and not forced to do anything against your wishes by recording yourself in a video speaking your wishes. Leaving behind a handwritten letter explaining the reasoning behind your bequests may also aid in removing reasons for will contestation. It may also help to only include individuals with no stake in the inheritance in the will drafting process since those with nothing to gain are unlikely to exert undue influence.

Add a no-contest clause

Bestowing a small gift on any people you worry may display discontent about your will is a way to avoid the claim that you simply forgot them. However, you may also leave them a more tempting amount and include a no-contest clause. This may deter them as they risk not inheriting anything if they fight against the will.

By considering the possibility of will contestation in your estate planning and taking preventative measures, you help ensure your wishes become reality after your passing.