Family squabbles: most of us have experienced them at one time or another. Typically, things work themselves out and family harmony is restored. However, there are some family squabbles that never get resolved. If you have changed your will due to family conflict, you might want to keep a few things in mind to make sure that the instructions you laid out in your documents are followed when you pass away.
Here are a few situations that could leave your will vulnerable to court action. Read on so that you can be sure that your will cannot be contested in court.
- Create your will now. A “deathbed will,” especially one that excludes a close family member, is often suspect.
- Give a reason. If you decide to disinherit your child, it can help to provide an explanation in your will. This can show the family and the local probate court that your decision was intentional and well-thought out.
- Giving too much, or too little, to a child. Even if you simply reduce the amount you give to one child over another, it is important to document a reason. For example, one of your children may have served as your caregiver and you’d like to compensate them more for his or her efforts. Whatever the reason, make sure it is clear in your will.
- Giving your money to a non-relative. If you decide that you would rather leave your money to a non-relative over your children, it is especially important to do things right. The court is highly suspicious of situations like these. In such cases, it is best to seek the assistance of an estate planning attorney in Ohio.
- Your will was not prepared and signed by an attorney. It is perfectly legal to create a will on your own. However, if there is anything controversial (like leaving out a child) you really should have it done and witnessed by an estate planning attorney in Ohio to make sure that the instructions you left are followed.
- You have executed multiple wills in the years just prior to your passing. Family squabbles start and stop…and then start again. If you have created wills, rescinded them, then created additional wills as the family conflict continued, your many will-altering attempts will likely raise a red flag about your true (and final) wishes in probate court.
If any of these warnings make you feel uneasy about the state and validity of your current will, call our office at 1-877-653-3450. We will be happy to review your documents to ensure that they are properly created and will be executed someday just as you planned.