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How do I protect my will from disputes?

On Behalf of | Jun 22, 2023 | Estate Planning

When you have worked hard your entire life and amassed some wealth, it is only sensible that you protect it in the event of incapacitation or death. And one of the most sensible estate planning tools you can use to protect your wealth is your will. 

But, a will can also be the primary cause of inheritance-related disputes. This is especially true if you did not follow Illinois wills laws. And you do not want this to happen. 

Here are two simple steps you can use to shield your will from disputes:

Leave no room for doubt

Besides procedural mistakes like failing to sign the will, lacking witnesses or including the wrong assets, one of the major causes of will disputes is lack of clarity as far as the testator’s decisions are concerned. 

If someone does not understand why you disinherited them or why you left them out of their will, they will most likely go to court. To take the guesswork out of the table, you may consider disclosing the contents of your will to your heirs. While doing so, be sure to explain why you have distributed your assets in a particular manner. 

Still to clarify, you may want to include a doctor’s report indicating that you were in sound mind while executing your will. This will deter interested parties from disputing your will on grounds of lack of testamentary capacity. 

Include a “no-contest” clause

A no-contest is intended to deter a disgruntled beneficiary from contesting their inheritance. The clause simply states that any beneficiary who disputes the will in court may lose their inheritance. Do keep in mind, however, that a no-contest clause only serves to gag beneficiaries who are named in the will. Thus, any non-beneficiary can still dispute your will.

Protecting your legacy

A will dispute can sow a lasting seed of discord amongst your beneficiaries. Learning more about Illinois wills laws can help you protect your interests and legacy while executing your will.