Creating a will is one of the most responsible decisions you can ever make. With a valid will, you can have peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be honored when you are no longer around to speak for yourself. If you die without a will, on the other hand, the government will have to step in and make these decisions for you.
But, will disputes are on the rise. If you did not follow Virginia’s wills law, there is a pretty good chance the probate court will annul it. And you do not want this to happen.
Here are two steps you can take to protect your will from disputes.
Make clear your decisions
Besides procedural missteps like missing signatures and lack of witnesses, one of the main reasons why wills are contested is a lack of clarity with respect to the testator’s decisions. If someone does not understand why you omitted from your will, or why you disinherited them, they are likely to challenge your will in court.
You can take the guesswork out of the table by clarifying why you are leaving specific assets to specific heirs. For instance, you could have left a significant amount of cash to a poorer relative because you want to assist them financially. Be sure to make this clear to the other beneficiaries.
Include a “no-contest” clause
A no-contest clause is meant to bar disgruntled beneficiaries from contesting a will. The clause basically states that any beneficiary who contests you will stand to lose their inheritance in entirety. However, it is important to understand that a no-contest clause only applies to named beneficiaries. This means that anyone left out of the will can still contest the document.
A will makes clear what you want to happen to your assets when you are gone. Find out how you can create a will that can stand the test of probate.