Why you shouldn’t be worried about someone contesting your will (if you do it right…) | Estate Planning TV 60
This is the transcript of the video… enjoy!Everybody,
Christopher Small here from CMS Law Firm and today I wanted to hop on here real quick and talk to you about a question that I get actually quite often when I’m doing estate planning, consultation and stuff like that. People are curious about or they’re worried about people contesting their wills or contesting their trust and having to go through that sort of litigious process and fight through that. They want to make sure that their wills are good.
And so I wanted to hop on here until you talk to you about how to sort of prevent that. The ways that people can contest wills just to let you know, so you have that peace of mind because, in reality, it’s actually quite hard to win a will contest. It’s not hard to contest the will, but to do that, somebody’s going to have to pony up some cash.
What I always tell everybody is, “Look, I can help you make sure that there’s a very, very, very low possibility that someone contest your will or contest your trust.
But I cannot prevent it 100% because if somebody wants to pay an attorney to go and contest a will and just sort of be out that cash, then they can do that. They probably won’t win.
And if they talked to any reputable attorney who looks at the documents and looks at the facts, they should tell the person that they won’t win. But that doesn’t mean that they won’t go after it anyway. When family and money get together, all sorts of crazy things can happen.
I can’t guarantee you 100% that it won’t happen, but I can guarantee you with a very, very, very high probability that it won’t happen. And here’s why.
There are really only three ways that someone can contest a will.
Will Contest Reason #1 – Poor Execution
The first reason is if it’s not executed properly, what that means is it’s not signed properly. It’s not notarized properly, it doesn’t have the proper witnesses that it’s supposed to have, right?
So if it’s just not sort of signed and done and executed properly it would make that will invalid just like any other document. If it didn’t have a signature on it, it wouldn’t be any good. That’s number one.
Will Contest Reason #2 – Incapacity
Number two is if the person that’s creating the will doesn’t have the capacity to do that, to create the will, which means basically they’re not in their right mind. They don’t have their faculties about them to know that they are executing a will to know that they are giving their things to someone to know that they are appointing people into certain positions for them.
If they don’t have the mental capacity to do that at the time they are signing the documents, then that is a valid reason to contest a will. That’s number two.
Will Contest Reason #3 – Duress
The third reason is duress. So if you are signing a will and somebody has got a gun to your head and they are making you sign the will, that would be a situation that would invalidate that will. Okay.
Now, there are all sorts of different levels of duress. There are all sorts of different levels of influence.
So it’s sort of important to make sure that those situations are handled if they appear to be present. But in most cases, with most people creating their estate plan, creating their will or trust, all that kind of stuff, you’re not going to have a lot of these situations come into the picture.
Most people are of sound mind, most people are creating a will of their own free will. And then when they come to the office, we made sure all the documents get executed properly. Okay. That’s it.
It’s really, really important to remember that just because somebody is grumpy about not getting what they think is their fair share or grumpy about what someone else is getting those are not valid reasons to contest a will that will not hold up in court.
No attorney is going to submit paperwork with that as the basis for contesting the will. All right. That’s it.
Hopefully, this sort of puts some of your fears to rest and you can now go on and create your will and your estate plan and have the comfort of knowing that everything is taken care of. All right, that’s it.
My name’s Christopher Small again, with CMS Law Firm. If you know someone that could use this message, that’s curious about this, please share this video with them.
If you like it yourself, if you thought it was great, that’s wonderful. Hit the like button below. Leave me a comment. If you have questions leave comments here or ask questions, that’d be great. I’d be happy to answer them. And that’s it. Plan on being here a lot more for these videos. Hopefully, you’re checking back in if you know anybody that’s interested in this stuff then have them follow the page or whatever.
And that’s it. Thank you so much for your time and I will talk to you again soon.