Thinking about your death is never an easy thing for most people. The very thought that you will one day pass on is usually a challenge for even the strongest among us. However, if you have assets and wish to pass those on in a particular fashion, then it is important that you have a will in place.
One of the primary goals of creating a will is to prevent conflicts over your estate, but even the most carefully considered wills can end up being disputed.
Here are some of the reasons why your will may be contested upon your demise.
Questions regarding your mental state
By law, you can only execute a valid will if you are mentally sound. Additionally, the witnesses to the testator’s signing of the will must attest that the testator was of sound mind and free from coercion. Sudden, drastic changes to your will just before you pass away can often trigger questions about your mental state, undue influence from others and your true intentions.
For a will to be valid, it must be duly signed and filed according to California laws. While these may seem like minor details, complying with these requirements can mean the difference between a valid will and one that is useless.
More than one will
It is not unusual for your circumstances to change from time to time. Maybe your beneficiaries or assets have changed. Maybe your family has grown. Whatever the case, it is important that you create a new will to reflect these changes. However, in doing so, it is equally important that you destroy any previous will. Having multiple wills is a sure way to set up your will for a contest.
A will is an important estate planning document that lets you outline your wishes for your assets. Knowing and avoiding common reasons for disputes can save your loved ones from additional grief.