No matter how much you’d like all of your heirs to get along, you suspect (or know) there will be some kind of fight over your assets once you’re gone. Sometimes sibling rivalries or old jealousies just won’t stop.
Fortunately, there are a number of different ways that you can try to protect your estate plans from being challenged in court by an unhappy heir. Some options include:
Creating a trust
With a carefully-planned trust, you can essentially keep your estate from getting into the court system. Other trusts could be set up for specific heirs so that you’re sure that the money goes to them — not a parent. There are numerous options you can consider — and trusts can be very hard to defeat in court.
“No contest” clause
With a “no contest” clause, you basically anticipate your heir’s displeasure over something in your will. However, you include a clause that requires them to forfeit whatever you did leave them in your will if they choose to contest its terms and lose. This is “all-or-nothing” choice often dampens enthusiasm for a lawsuit.
Carefully choosing an executor or trustee
Some people are better at navigating family dynamics than others. Sometimes, it takes a professional to keep everyone in line. As long as all of your heirs agree that the executor or trustee is impartial and fair, your estate is likely to work through disagreements without resorting to court battles.
For more information on what you can do to create an estate plan that will bear the test of time, contact our office directly or continue reviewing our site.