Even among people who love one another, the death of a close family member can bring out the worst in them. To divide assets, it is imperative to get help in creating an incontestable will. During a painful time, family members often allow emotions to take over, especially if someone feels slighted by a will.
Making plans for after your passing is difficult, but if you anticipate leaving certain assets, such as jewelry, artwork, property, cash, and so on, to family or friends, an incontestable will is vital. With an ironclad will, you have peace of mind that everyone will receive exactly what you wanted them to have and that there is little to no risk of discord.
By definition, an “incontestable will” is a legal and binding document that is not open to interpretation or dispute. In other words, whatever provisions you leave to different family members and/or friends cannot be changed even if someone wanted to contest in court. With an incontestable will, there is absolutely no question of what your intentions were when the document was executed.
Although most wills are hard to contest, they can be if not drawn up correctly. For that reason, the first step in creating an incontestable will is to work with a top-notch attorney who specializes in this area of law. That way, any potential loopholes are quickly identified and closed to interpretation.
One area that an attorney may need to tighten up has to do with your competency. If a will is going to be contested, there is a good chance an individual will claim you were incompetent at the time the document was established, meaning you were not in the right state of mind to make the decisions you did.
By working with an attorney, any questions regarding your competency are put to rest. For example, if you suffer from a major illness or have slight dementia, the attorney can videotape you stating your wishes for after your passing to coincide with a written will. If someone is left out of the will or does not receive what he or she feels is rightfully theirs, the video along with the will can be presented to a court of law to show you were fully competent.
Another obstacle with wills has to do with a spouse. If you leave all possessions to a child or children, your spouse might claim an “elective share” of your estate. Now, when a spouse does not inherit an estate, in most states a claim can be filed for a share that typically ranges between one-third and one-half of all assets as opposed to what you actually left that person. The length of marriage and the number of living children can have an impact on the judge’s decision.
A highly qualified attorney knows all the challenges associated with creating an incontestable will and, therefore, will advise you as to how the legal document should be worded and what rights you have according to current law. This guarantees you have a say in how assets are divided.