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3 tips to help reduce the chances of your will being challenged.
How to reduce the chances of your will being challenged

Three tips to help reduce the chances of your will being challenged.

While there's no way to completely ensure that your will isn't challenged, there are ways to reduce the chances of it happening. Here are three tips that may help reduce any stress or unwanted hassle for your loved ones after your death.

1. Be open about your intentions

Unexpected shocks are one of the key reasons why wills are challenged later down the line. There have been several high-profile examples of executors being warned of what to expect when they inherit their parent’s estate.

For example, both tech entrepreneur Bill Gates and chef Nigella Lawson have stated that they intend not leave their children huge fortunes. Instead, they’ve both said they’ll leave the majority of their money to charity.

Ensuring children are aware of and understand the terms of what they will inherit can reduce the likelihood of them making an official legal challenge.

2. Communicate when you’ve changed your mind

If you promise assets to someone but fail to include them in your will, this can leave your estate open to legal challenges. The claimant may feel they’ve lost out, financially or otherwise, from not receiving their promised inheritance. These cases can stand up in court, so be careful about making any promises to potential beneficiaries.

3. Consider writing a letter of wishes to accompany your will

An individual (such as a former spouse, cohabitee or financial dependent) can make a claim if they feel they haven’t been sufficiently provided for (if at all) in your will.

‘Reasonable provision’ is something that will be closely examined by a court in such circumstances. The court considers the need for support and maintenance of the claimant, while also examining their status in relation to the deceased and the interests of the remaining beneficiaries.

You can make your intentions clear with a letter of wishes. This is supporting documentation that allows you to explain the choices made in your will. Although it may not change the outcome if your will is contested, it provides transparency to all parties involved.

 

The content of this article is not a substitute for comprehensive legal advice, and is solely available for information purposes. If you’re unsure about your will, Which? Legal is here to help. Call 0117 456 6020 to find out more.

 

 

(Image credit: Highwaystarz-Photography via iStock)

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