How to Safeguard your Will from Being Contested

Providing for your family and loved ones is a big responsibility. Many people spend their lives ensuring their loved ones have a roof over their heads, but adequately providing for your family continues even after your working life comes to an end. Carefully planning how your assets will be distributed in the event of your passing is an important step towards securing your family’s future.

It is easy to create a will but ensuring your intentions are upheld is a different story. A will can be contested by eligible persons, which can affect your intentions and how your estate is distributed. When someone feels they have not been provided for in a will they can contest the will and make a family provision claim.

With the rise of blended families, issues surrounding wills and estates are on the rise, but there are a few simple steps you can take to safeguard your will from being contested.

Stay away from DIY will kits

There are many options when it comes to creating a will and DIY will kits are an inexpensive choice. Unfortunately, what you save in creating the will, your loved ones may end up paying in expensive litigation fees if the will is contested. DIY will kits fail to account for your personal circumstances and as a result are left open to interpretation and family disputes. If the will is drafted incorrectly it may be declared invalid which also means your intentions may not be upheld.

Seek professional legal assistance

Seeking professional legal assistance is the first step toward safeguarding your will. Lawyers who specialise in wills and estate planning have years of experience in writing wills and can ensure your will is valid.

They can listen to your intentions and create a will that is consistent with your wishes, anticipating any issues, such as family provision claims, that may arise in the event of your passing. Addressing possible issues and accounting for them in a will may decrease the likelihood of disputes. A will that is created with your personal situation in mind can be written clearly to address your individual circumstances.

While seeking professional legal assistance may initially cost more, it can save your family from expensive legal fees down the track in the event that your will is contested, declared invalid or needs to be interpreted. Without additional legal fees you can ensure your beneficiaries receive the maximum distribution from your estate.

Update your will regularly

It is important to review and update your will regularly to ensure it reflects your current circumstances. For example, you should update your will if you have had another child, have married or your living situation has changed. Few people realise that a will becomes invalid when you marry so it is important to update your will as soon as possible in this situation. Updating your will helps to safeguard your will and your intentions. An outdated will is left open to interpretation and possibly the laws of succession.

Be of sound mind

You should create and/or update your will when you are mentally well. The validity of a will comes into question if the mental health of the testator was of concern at the time. This is particularly important if you have been diagnosed with a degenerative mental illness such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Choose a trustworthy executor

The executor of a will is appointed by the testator to oversee the administration and distribution of their estate. The executor must perform a number of duties surrounding the administration and distribution of the estate, but their role also includes defending the estate from legal claims and resolving any disputes between beneficiaries. Given the importance of this role, it is crucial to appoint an executor who you trust and who will uphold your intentions. A trustworthy executor will play an important role in safeguarding your will.

Taylor & Scott Lawyers have assisted many clients with the delicate task of creating a will and on many occasions have acted for clients when a will they are beneficiary to has been contested. With a dedicated wills and estate planning team, Taylor & Scott Lawyers have the experience, expertise and resources to help you write and safeguard your will.

Don’t leave the distribution of your estate and your family’s future to chance, arrange a meeting with us or call today on 1800 600 664.

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