A will is a fundamental aspect of any estate plan. This legal instrument allows you to pass on an inheritance to those who you love most. You can also make provisions to take care of your children and much more.
That being said, a will must be legally sound to function as intended. Something you want to avoid in the future is a will contest, which will inevitably arise should there be questions over the validity of the document. Outlined below are some important things to keep in mind.
Was the will made under duress?
For a will to be valid, it must reflect your true wishes and not those of another party. While it can be beneficial to have discussions with your family about estate planning, all major decisions should ultimately be yours. In some cases, particularly with regard to elderly individuals, undue influence can become present.
This occurs when someone asserts pressure on the testator to modify terms that favor the person who is asserting the pressure. Further down the line, it is highly likely that interested parties will contest the will if they suspect undue influence was a factor.
Was the will original?
Another factor that can invalidate a will is if there are signs that it has been forged or tampered with. For instance, if the signature on it does not match your own exactly. While will templates can be used, the wording and intentions behind them must reflect your wishes and not those of someone else.
Even a minor suggestion that the will is inauthentic can result in the validity being called into question.
Drafting a will doesn’t have to be complicated. By having legal guidance on your side, you can avoid making any errors and ensure that your family gains their inheritance upon your incapacitation.