One of the most important goals of estate planning is to carry out your wishes after you pass away. This is why creating a will is so important.
However, there is always the risk that someone contests your will. According to O.R.C. 2107.76, a person has three months to contest a will once filed. Luckily, there are ways to reduce the chance of a contested will.
Write a clear letter of intent
Sometimes you must leave a smaller share to someone who expects more. Writing a letter of intent to your executor explaining your reasoning is a good idea. This can help avoid misunderstandings or hurt feelings and may reduce the likelihood of a challenge to your will.
Include a physician’s evaluation
Another critical step is to obtain a physician’s evaluation report. This is useful in cases where there is a risk that someone may challenge your will on the grounds of mental incompetence. It is vital to have the evaluation done while the will is in the writing and signing process.
Keep the drafting and signing private
Finally, keeping your beneficiaries away from the preparation and signing of your will is essential. This helps to prevent the accusation of undue influence. You should not involve anyone who stands to inherit under the will during the drafting and execution. This means that beneficiaries should not be present when you discuss the structure of the will, drive to the attorney’s office or sign the will.
Creating a will is an integral part of estate planning. Ensuring that your wishes carry out as you intended is essential. Taking specific steps can reduce the risk of a challenge.