The grieving process can bring out the worst in people sometimes, including during the reading of the will. Sometimes, family members contest the will if they believe it to be unreasonable or unfair. This delays the estate settlement and prolongs the entire grieving process for loved ones.
If you are creating an estate plan, take proactive steps to reduce the risk of a loved one contesting the will after your death.
Be vocal about your wishes
When you create your will, it is important that everyone in the family understand your wishes. Be vocal about what your intentions are so that there are no surprises at the will reading. When everyone has already heard the contents of the will directly from you, that helps prevent a contest.
Mention anyone who is not inheriting anything
If you have decided to leave anyone out of your will, include a passage in the will identifying them and state that you omitted them deliberately. If you are comfortable doing so, explain why or provide letters to them afterward with an explanation.
Consider video recordings
If you suspect that anyone in your family might try to contest your will, consider video recordings to pre-empt it. If you read your will or discuss its contents on video, clearly showing that you are of sound mind at the time, this prevents any family members from questioning your capacity when you signed the will.
Proactive steps during your estate planning can save your loved ones a lot of stress and upheaval.