Preventing A Will Being Contested
Safeguarding Your Legacy: How to Prevent Your Will from Being Contested
Estate planning can be a complex and emotional journey. A key document in the process is the Will, which serves as a roadmap for the distribution of your assets after your death. Unfortunately, it can sometimes be challenged by unhappy beneficiaries.
In this blog post, we will explore the steps you can take to minimise the chances of your Will being challenged, ensuring your wishes are respected and carried out as intended.
Engage an experienced estate planning solicitor:
The first and most crucial step is to consult a qualified estate planning solicitor. They can help you navigate the complexities of estate law and ensure your Will is drafted correctly. This will reduce the likelihood of your Will being challenged on technical grounds or due to errors in its preparation.
Ensure your will meets all legal requirements:
To ensure that your Will is legally valid, it must meet certain requirements. Generally, these include:
The testator (you) must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind.
The Will must be in writing, signed by the testator and witnessed by two independent witnesses.
Consult your solicitor to ensure your Will complies with all legal requirements.
Clearly communicate your intentions to your family:
Open and honest communication with your loved ones about your intentions can prevent misunderstandings and reduce the likelihood of your Will being challenged. Make sure your family members understand your wishes and the reasoning behind them.
Consider a statement supporting your Will:
A statement of your intentions setting out why you made the Will you have can help to keep any claims to a minimum.
Update your Will regularly:
Life circumstances change, and so do your relationships and assets. Regularly review and update your Will to ensure it remains relevant and accurately reflects your wishes. An up-to-date Will is less likely to be challenged on the grounds that it no longer represents your intentions.
Address potential challenges head-on:
If you anticipate a specific individual may challenge your Will, consider discussing your concerns with your solicitor. They can help you identify any weaknesses in your Will and suggest strategies to address these potential challenges.
Obtain a medical assessment:
If there are concerns that your mental capacity may be questioned, consider obtaining a medical assessment from a qualified professional. This assessment can be included as part of your Will as evidence of your mental capacity at the time of signing.
While it may be impossible to entirely prevent challenges to your Will, following these steps can significantly reduce the likelihood of a successful challenge. By engaging an experienced estate planning solicitor, ensuring your Will meets all legal requirements, and addressing potential challenges proactively, you can safeguard your legacy and ensure your wishes are honoured.