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A Guide On Contested Wills

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Contested wills are a testator's worst nightmare. It is especially so since the testator cannot remedy the situation. The best approach would be creating a water-tight will that testators and third parties cannot contest. So, how do you draft an indisputable will? Below is a comprehensive guide. 

Hire A Lawyer

A wills and estates lawyer is critical to the wills writing process. Typically, the lawyer ensures the will meets the legal standards required to execute wills in your state or country. For instance, they make sure you sign the will in the presence of two witnesses. The lawyer also ensures the will's clauses do not contravene local laws. For instance, you cannot transfer assets that are not in your name. Besides, you cannot claim total ownership of jointly registered assets. Such interventions help prevent wills contests on the grounds that the document does not meet the legal requirements. 

The lawyer also offers estate planning insights to prevent the loss of funds during the probate process. For instance, if you have invested in online assets, the lawyer develops mechanisms to transfer these assets to your beneficiaries once you die. For example, the lawyer could ask you to include the passwords, recovery emails, and security questions in your will to ensure your beneficiaries have an easy time retrieving these assets. If you have invested in antiques and paintings, the lawyer asks you to authenticate these items and store their documents in safe custody. 

Include All Beneficiaries

While you have the freedom to distribute your wealth as you please, you also have a duty to provide to your beneficiaries. If you leave out a direct beneficiary from your will, they could dispute the will on an inadequate provision claim. So, how can you avoid this? If you feel that you do not want a beneficiary included in your will, you could append an explanation letter or no-dispute clause. Alternatively, you could protect your assets from the probate process. In this case, you create a joint ownership agreement with your preferred beneficiaries. Once you die, they automatically take ownership of the assets. Another intervention would be to place assets in a trust. In this case, only the trust's beneficiaries can access the assets. 

Update The Will Regularly 

You must update your will regularly to prevent confusion. For instance, you should adjust the will if you divorce your spouse, have a new family member, or when one of the beneficiaries passes away. Moreover, ask your lawyer to amend the will when you purchase or sell assets. This way, disgruntled beneficiaries cannot claim that the will is outdated. Moreover, they do not have access to assets not included in the will.  

For more info about contested wills, contact a local professional.