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How can you discourage will contests?

On Behalf of | Feb 11, 2021 | Estate Planning |

When you start writing your will in Florida, you might want to leave certain family members out of the document. Unfortunately, disinheriting them might encourage them to contest the will after you’re gone, even if you include a no-contest clause. Here’s how you can prevent family members from contesting your will.

How do you enforce a no-contest clause?

You don’t know exactly what’s going to happen when you’re gone, but you can prepare for the worst during the estate planning process. If you don’t want any of your assets to go to a particular relative, your first instinct might be to disinherit the relative and include a no-contest clause. Such a clause states that if someone challenges your will, they will automatically be disinherited.

However, if you didn’t leave your relative any assets to begin with, they have no incentive not to contest your will. If you’re not going to give them assets either way, why not contest your will and try to get it overturned in court?

To keep your relatives from challenging your will, your estate planning attorney might recommend giving everyone a small part of your estate. This gives your relatives a reason not to contest your will, since they won’t be eligible for the cash or properties that you left them if they take the matter to court.

When should you start thinking about estate planning?

If you don’t have an estate plan, the best time to start is now. Planning your estate can help you get your finances together, assess how much your estate is worth and figure out how you’re going to pay off debts after you’re gone. Your attorney could help you figure out ways to provide for your friends and family members by dividing up your estate.

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