COVID-19 Notice: In order to best serve you while doing our part to maximize health and safety, we continue to be available for telephone and Zoom video conferences, and documents can be prepared, reviewed, signed, and exchanged electronically. Call 646-561-9099 for your legal needs!


For Estate Planning, Estate Administration And Disputes

Tips to protect your family from probate due to will contests

On Behalf of | Dec 23, 2022 | Blog, Estate Planning |

When you begin estate planning, you may not consider the risk of a family member contesting your will and sending your entire family through a lengthy and contentious probate process. It is important to recognize this possibility and understand the most common reasons for contesting a will.

With the right planning in advance, you can protect your family from the potential of a contested will.

Establish a trust

If you establish a revocable living trust instead of distributing assets with a will, you eliminate the risk of probate. The trust is its own independent existence and is protected from contest, which makes it distinctly different from a will.

Address any exclusions

When you exclude someone from your will, that is a leading cause for a contest. Many family members believe that they were simply overlooked and it was an error, so they contest the will to get what they believe they deserve. If you address any exclusions directly in the text of your will, you can reduce the risk of a contest.

Include a video will

Although a video will by itself is not permissible and wills must go to the court in hard copy, having a video in which you discuss the terms of your will can help showcase your state of mind, which eliminates another potential issue that leads to contest.

Proactive considerations protect your estate plan from those family members who may feel slighted or who become angry in their grief. Protect your family from the upheaval of probate from contesting a will with these tips.