Three Ways to Challenge a Will or Trust

A common estate planning attorney question I get is “how can I make sure no one challenges my will?”

I always tell everyone the same thing: “There is no way to prevent someone from challenging your will if they want to. If they have money and motivation, they can file the paperwork to challenge. What we want to do is make it so they can’t win.”

And that’s exactly what we do.

The easiest way to do that is to create a situation where there is no valid basis to challenge the will.

Thankfully, that’s pretty easy.

There are three ways to challenge a will or trust:

1. The document was not executed (signed) properly.

2. The person creating the will did not have the mental capacity to sign the document (i.e. they did not understand what they were doing).

3. The person creating the document was forced to sign it (i.e. literally a gun at their head or some other sort of coercion forcing them to act against their will).

If none of those elements exist, a will challenge is going to fail.

There you go!


Christopher Small
Estate Planning Attorney

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