Making The American Dream Attainable

Avoiding disputes over your will

On Behalf of | Apr 10, 2023 | Estate Planning |

Drafting a will provides Floridians the ability to direct how their hard-earned assets are passed on to loved ones.

A person signing a will — known as the testator — wants to avoid the potential for a challenge to the validity of the will. For example, there could allegations of undue influence, fraud or improper execution of the will, any of which if proven could result in a court finding the will invalid.

Avoiding will contests

There are a number of steps a person can take to minimize the risk of a will contest.

First, it is a good idea to plan for and sign a will while healthy and not under the stress of an illness. Wills signed while a person is sick can lead to suspicions of undue influence or incapacity.

Second, a person should ensure compliance with the requirements for signing a will, such as signing the will in presence of two disinterested witnesses who are receiving nothing under the will. The requirements for validly signing can be technical, so it is important to carefully comply with all of the rules.

Third, a person should periodically review and update their estate plan. If, for example, a person has a child or gets divorced, it is critical to update a will. Otherwise, the will may not reflect a person’s current wishes and can lead to potential challenges to its validity.

Discuss your will with your loved ones

Finally, one of easiest steps a person can take to avoid will contests is to discuss the will with loved ones.

In many cases, family members contest wills because they suspect improper influence or fraudulent conduct in connection with the will. To avoid these suspicions, a person should consider discussing their wishes with loved ones while still alive so that family members understand and respect their decisions.