Keeping Will Contests To A Minimum

Although your attorney cannot promise that someone will not attempt to contest your Will or Family Trust, there are a few ways to cut down on the possibility of an attempted contest. 

  1. You can include a no-contest provision in your Will or Family Trust. A no-contest provision states that anyone who tries to have the document nullified in court is not to inherit any of your property, even if your document states they are a recipient of some of your property. This provides a good amount of hesitation on the part of the potential contestant. Does he or she really want to lose out on what you already have given to them?

  2. You can include a general disinheritance provision that states you intentionally left out all of those persons that you did not name as a beneficiary in your Will or Family Trust.

  3. You can be even more explicit by naming the person or persons that you want to be sure don’t end up receiving a part of your estate. Although such a step can be considered drastic, if you have a strong expectation that one or more of your legal heirs may be tempted to engage in such a battle, it may be necessary to take this additional precaution.

However, a court will be unlikely to overturn a Will or Family Trust unless there is very strong evidence that:

  1. The person who signed the document had already been medically determined to be incompetent by the time the document was executed;

  2. the person was deceived about something and that deception led to the changing of the Will or Family Trust; and/or

  3. the person was coerced or enticed (by threat or promise of reward) into changing the terms of the Will or Living Trust.

Lastly, by having a Living Trust or Family Trust, your plan is less likely to be attacked with a contest. In part, this is because your Trust is a private document, that does not need the public Probate proceeding to start administration. If you wish to set up your own Revocable Living Trust, to avoid Probate and to limit the likelihood of a Contest, please contact Jeppesen Law at 208-477-1785.