Justin Jeppesen: Avoid Family Contesting Your Will

A court will rarely invalidate a Will or a Trust. This results in the document’s provisions not being followed. Although rare, it can and does happen. Because a contest of an estate planning document is rare, contests tend to occur in three areas.

Before a court discounts a deceased person’s last wishes expressed in their Will or Trust, the judge will need to see strong evidence that when the Will or Trust was created or updated, that:

    The person was mentally incompetent at the time of creation and signing;

    The person was tricked into making the Will or Trust; or

    The person was placed under “undue” pressure to create the Will or Trust.

You will notice, that an unhappy family member or other beneficiary, is not a legitimate reason to invalidate your last wishes. Most courts in Idaho almost always follow your last wishes.

For parents of minor children, this is an important point. When selecting your children’s potential future guardians, do not worry about ruffling feathers. Select the people, or person, you believe is the best parental option for your child. You can make provisions for visitation, so your family members won’t have to deal with losing you and losing your children.