When you create a will, you should be able to rest easy knowing that your wishes will be honored and followed when you pass away. However, if someone in your life is unhappy with what your will says, it is possible that it could be contested in court. As a Hillsborough County probate attorney, I see this more often than I like. In situations where a child is left out or more assets go to one child than another, you need to be careful that your will can stand up through will contest proceedings.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take proactively to prevent individuals from contesting your will. You can also make sure that the document is strong enough to subvert any attempt. Below you will find 6 steps to follow which can help you avoid a will contest.
- Sign your will in the presence of an attorney. The validation of an attorney will go a long way in making it contest-proof.
- If you exclude a spouse or child, make sure that you provide a reason for the omission.
- If there is an individual that is receiving more than others, make sure that you document a reason, such as compensating a child who served as your caretaker.
- Naming non-relatives, home care workers, or trusted advisors such as lawyers or your doctor automatically throws up a red flag. If this is something you wish to do, make sure to consult with your attorney first.
- If possible, try not to change your will frequently or write directly on the document. All such changes will be scrutinized and may not hold up in court.
- Make sure that your will is in place as soon as possible. If you wait until you have a medical or mental ailment, it may be scrutinized for validity once you pass away.
Here at the Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, we can help you anticipate and avoid situations that could lead to your will being contested. Please contact us today by calling 813-438-8503 to discuss your options.