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How to prevent challenges to your last will and estate

When you go through the effort of creating a last will and estate plan, you expect that your family members and heirs will respect your wishes. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people to contest a last will, claiming they expected to receive more than you allotted for them.

Obviously, you have put a lot of thought and planning into who receives what and the final distribution of your assets. There may be certain people that you are intentionally not leaving anything for. Conversely, other people may need more support, inspiring you to leave a significant amount of your assets for them.

Whatever your reasoning, your assets are just that: yours. You worked hard your whole life to accumulate your belongings and money, and you deserve to decide how it is distributed after you die. Having someone contest your last will is not only disrespectful of you, it could harm those who you are hoping to protect and provide for with your estate. Don't let that happen to you! Speak with an experienced probate law and estate planning attorney to ensure that your last will be upheld by the courts as your attorney wrote it and you intended.

Special language can prevent people from contesting your estate

Careful preparation is one of the best ways to prevent issues with your estate and last will. You need to work with an attorney who understands the rules. Preparing a last will with the help of an attorney is the best way to ensure your estate's handling is as you desire, but sometimes people can take issue with your decisions. Your attorney can help you create language within your last will specifically intended to prevent people listed as heirs from suing or otherwise contesting your estate in the courts. It can be as simple as including a clause that disinherits anyone who tries to legally challenge your last will.

Once you complete your last will, you can decide if you want your potential heirs to know about the clause against court challenges. That can immediately remove the incentive for your heirs and family members to try to fight for a larger portion of your assets or estate. Alternatively, you can choose to not inform them of that clause, which means those who decide to contest your estate will very likely lose whatever they were originally going to inherit from you. No amount of legal bargaining can remove that clause from your last will.

An attorney can help protect your estate plan

Working with an attorney who understands New York estate and probate law is the best way to ensure your last will is executed as you intended it to be. Your attorney can also help after you pass on by working closely with the executor of your estate to fulfill your last wishes.

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