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Steps may help to prevent wills from being challenged

Oftentimes, creating an estate plan is not high on the priority list for asset owners in New York, whose other life responsibilities typically take center stage. However, creating wills is essential for protecting one's assets in the long run. A common concern, though, is having an estate plan challenged by a family member.

A loved one may challenge an asset owner's estate plan if he or she is not included in it as much as he or she would like to be. It may not be possible to keep a dissatisfied family member from being dismayed, but a couple of steps may help with minimizing the chances that he or she will challenge the estate plan. First, writing the will and other estate planning documents in specific, clear language is paramount. This means that, if disinheriting a particular relative is one's goal, then stating this fact directly is important. Providing reasons for doing this may also be helpful.

In addition, including a no-contest clause might be useful. This clause essentially states that the estate plan reflects one's intentions and desires, and that the family is expected to honor these intentions. The clause also states that anybody who challenges the plan will end up forfeiting the particular assets they otherwise would have received.

Creating wills can be a complicated process from both an emotional and a legal standpoint. However, failure to create an estate plan means that an individual's assets may not end up in the intended hands after he or she passes away. An attorney in New York can help with creating an estate plan that accurately reflects one's wishes and desires.

Source: forbes.com, "How To Reduce The Possibility Of Your Estate Plan Getting Challenged", Mark Eghrari, Oct. 30, 2017

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