How to stop your will being contested

If you write a will, you can ensure that your loved ones are taken care of when you pass away. However, if someone decides to challenge your will, it could threaten your family’s inheritance, so it is wise to ensure your will is water-tight. Here we explain how to stop your will being contested.

Challenging wills

A will a written document, where you state how your assets should be divided up among your beneficiaries. If you make a will, it is more likely that your wishes in this area will be respected, making it very advantageous to create this document. Be aware that in some cases wills can be challenged in court, and if the case is successful, your intended beneficiaries may see their inheritance reduced.

Keep in mind that not just anybody can make a claim on your estate. They must have had some form a personal relationship with you, for example they are a relative. However, under the Inheritance Act certain parties e.g. your spouse or children, do have a right to make a claim on your estate if you have not included them in your will, or if you have not adequately provided for them. It is hard to stop people contesting your will in this case, so be aware of this issue when creating the document.

Making notes  

There are several other instances where someone may contest your will, and these issues are easier to deal with. The aggrieved party may, for instance, try to claim that you did not conform to the necessary legal requirements of making a will. They might say, for example, that you were not of sound mind when drawing up the document, and this would open up your will to legal challenges.

Hire a reputable firm, such as Prestige Tax and Trust Services, to make your will if you want to prevent this from happening. Any good will-writer will keep meticulous notes when composing your will, so they can illustrate your reasoning for leaving your assets to certain beneficiaries and not others. Also visit the firm on your own, as if any family or friends accompany you, others may be able to argue that you were unduly influenced by this person, throwing your will’s legitimacy up for doubt.

Heading off challenges

There are a few other ways that you can prevent people from challenging your will. It is essential that you have open and honest discussions with your loved ones, during the will-writing process. This will allow you to reveal what you are leaving to who, and your reasoning for doing so. This will give your loved ones time to acclimatise themselves to the situation, so they are less likely to contest your will.

You should also avoid making any verbal contracts. You may, for example, promise one family member that they will inherit your land after you pass away, but change your mind, and leave this asset to another loved one in your will. It is critical to consider that verbal contracts do carry some weight with the courts – especially if there is any written evidence, so it is best to avoid making them.

Prestige Tax and Trust Services

The best way to stop your will from being contested, is to hire experts to write it. A knowledgeable will-writer can ensure your will is water-tight, while conforming to any necessary legal requirements. Consider coming to Prestige Tax and Trust Services. We are experts in will matters, so by asking us to compose your will, you can make sure your loved ones are provided for when you are no longer here.

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