A will is a crucial component of any estate plan. This legally binding document instructs the executor on how your assets should be distributed upon your death. A will should get to the heart of what your true wishes are, and the terms included in the document should reflect these.
In some cases, wills can be contested. This can result in lengthy court proceedings as well as family disputes. What are some of the more common reasons for will contests?
When the testator was pressured
As mentioned, a will must accurately reflect the final wishes of the testator. While the instructions of the will may benefit friends, family members and other individuals, the beneficiaries should not pressure the testator into drafting terms in their favor.
Any form of pressure, such as making threats so that the testator adjusts the will, could be deemed as undue influence. Instances of undue influences are one of the most common causes of will disputes.
When there are legal errors
A will must also strictly adhere to the rules and regulations of the state. In some cases, testators draft a DIY will from a template purchased online. While this is legal, it isn’t always advisable. If a will is not signed and witnessed appropriately or uses vague and confusing language, it could be challenged based on legal validity.
To protect the inheritance of your loved ones, it is worth spending time drafting your estate plan. This should be done with legal guidance behind you to reduce the risk of will contests and other disputes.