How to safeguard your Will from being contested

Providing for your family and loved ones is an immense responsibility. Many people spend
their lives ensuring their loved ones have a roof over their heads, and adequately providing
for your family continues even after your working life comes to an end. Carefully planning
how your assets will be distributed in the event of your passing is an important step towards
securing your family’s future.
It is not difficult to create a will but ensuring that your intentions are upheld is a different
story. A will can be contested by eligible persons, which may affect your intentions and how
your estate is distributed. When someone feels they have not been or inadequately
provided for in a will they can contest the will and make a family provision claim.
With the rise of blended families, issues surrounding wills and estates are on the rise, but
there are measures that you can take to safeguard your will from being contested.
Avoid Using DIY Will Kits
There are many options when it comes to creating a will and DIY will kits are an inexpensive
choice. Unfortunately, what you save in creating the will, your loved ones may end up
paying in expensive litigation fees if the will is contested. DIY will kits fail to account for your
personal circumstances and as a result are left open to interpretation and family disputes. If
the will is drafted incorrectly it may be declared invalid which also means your intentions
may not be upheld.
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Seek Professional Legal Help
Seeking professional legal help is the first step towards safeguarding your will. Lawyers who
specialise in wills and estate planning have years of experience in drafting wills and can
ensure your will is valid.
Lawyers can take your instructions and create a will that is consistent with your wishes,
anticipating any issues, such as family provision claims, that may arise in the event of your
passing. Addressing possible issues and accounting for them in a will may decrease the
likelihood of disputes. A will that is created with your personal situation in mind can be
written clearly to address your individual circumstances.
While seeking professional legal help may initially cost more, it can save your family from
expensive legal fees down the track in the event that your will is contested, declared invalid
or needs to be interpreted without additional legal fees you can ensure your beneficiaries
receive the maximum distribution from your estate.
Update Your Will Regularly
It is important to review and update your will regularly to ensure it reflects your current
circumstances. For example, you should update your will if you have married, had another
child or your living situation has changed. Few people realise that a will becomes invalid
when you marry so it is important to update your will as soon as possible in this situation.
Updating your will helps to safeguard your will and your intentions. An outdated will is left
open to interpretation and possibly the law of succession.
Be of Sound Mind
You should create and/or update your will when you are of sound mind and are mentally
well. The validity of a will comes into question if the mental health of the testator was of
concern at the time. This is particularly important if one is diagnosed with a degenerative
mental illness such as Alzheimer’s disease.
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Choose a Reliable and Trustworthy Executor
The executor of a will is appointed by the testator to oversee the administration and
distribution of their estate. The executor must perform a number of duties surrounding the
administration and distribution of the estate, but their role also includes defending the
estate from legal claims and resolving any disputes between beneficiaries. Given the
importance of this role, it is crucial to appoint an executor who you trust and who will
uphold your intentions. A trustworthy executor will play an important role in safeguarding
your will.
RN LEGAL has assisted many clients with the delicate task of creating a will and on many
occasions has acted for clients when a will they are beneficiary to has been contested. RN
LEGAL has the experience, expertise and resources to help you write and safeguard your
Don’t leave the distribution of your estate and your family’s future to chance. Contact us
on (02) 9191 9293 or if you require legal advice in relation to your will or
estate matter