Your last will and testament is supposed to be your opportunity to make decisions regarding the division of your estate and the care of your dependents. However, if you are not careful, this will could end up being contested in court after your death. Thankfully, there are steps that you can take to ensure your will can stand up to a legal challenge and ultimately ensure that your final wishes are observed after your death.
Avoid Do-It-Yourself Forms
There are a wide variety of do-it-yourself forms available to help you draft a legal will. The problem is, while these forms can provide you with the basic format and some very general information, they cannot provide you with legal advice regarding the distribution of your assets and local inheritance laws. Consequently, it is quite easy to draft an illegal will when using these do-it-yourself products. For instance, you may unknowingly disinherit or under-compensate a family member that the law states must inherit from you. Having your last will and testament drafted by a qualified attorney will allow you to avoid these issues and can ultimately help to ensure a loved one is not able to contest your will based on the grounds of unfair compensation.
Consider A Video Will
In addition to the legal document known as your last will and testament, you may want to consider making a video will. Not only will this allow you to address your family members directly after your death, but it will also provide you with a platform to demonstrate that all decisions you have made regarding your will have been made freely and not under duress.
While the sheer presence of a video will does not eliminate the ability to contest your will on the grounds of duress, it can go a long way towards demonstrating for the court that you were not coerced into making changes to your will.
Be Sure A Competency Exam Is Completed
One of the most common reasons a will is contested is the assertion that the individual was no longer mentally competent at the time the will was drafted. This type of probate case is especially common when challenging the wills of seniors who suffered from any level of dementia.
In order to avoid any questions regarding your mental competency, it is always best to have a competency exam performed directly before signing the latest copy of your will. This exam can be completed by your attorney and will simply require you to answer a few basic questions that can demonstrate you are fully aware of your actions and the consequences that those actions may have.
For more information, contact Patricia L Riddick PLLC Atty or a similar legal professional.