It is always an emotional and challenging time when a loved one passes. The situation can be made worse when it comes time to distribute the deceased’s assets. What happens if a beneficiary contests the estate? Fortunately, a contested estate can often be prevented with careful estate planning. If you need assistance, the Lincolnshire estate planning attorneys at Orlowsky & Wilson can help you prevent a contested estate.
Someone can contest the will or estate before it is admitted to probate. Or, someone can challenge the denial of admission of the will. In the first scenario, the petitioner’s goal is to show the will is invalid for a variety of reasons. In the second, the goal is to show the will is valid even though it was denied administration. Some reasons an estate can be contested are undue influence, fraud and forgery, and lack of testamentary capacity.
Did you know you can avoid having a will with a revocable living trust? This lets you put all of your money and property into a trust. You can use your assets while you are still alive, but they are owned in a technical sense by the trust.
When you pass away, your assets will be distributed as you wish to your beneficiaries. One of the benefits of a trust is it cannot usually be contested. Also, trusts are private, and a person listed in the trust cannot view the details.
Some people may do an estate plan once and forget about it. But circumstances change, so it is essential to have your estate plan reviewed often and updated as needed. For example, someone may have been married, divorced, born, or passed away. Or, you had a business located near Regal Lincolnshire or the Marriott Theater that was sold. If you keep the estate plan current, there are fewer chances it will be contested.
A no-contest clause states that a person who contests any part of the will does not receive anything. This may be useful to prevent a contested estate. However, it only works if the person has a stake in the will.
Your will must be executed appropriately. Every document must be correctly signed and included with the plan. Do not make an estate plan on your own without legal representation. Work with a Lincolnshire estate planning lawyer to ensure the estate plan was done correctly. A properly executed estate plan reduces the chances that someone will contest it.
Preventing a contested estate is one of the most important parts of estate planning. With the help of our Lincolnshire estate planning attorneys, you can draft an estate plan that works for all parties.
Our estate planning attorneys also serve the communities of Lake County, Chicago, Libertyville, Northbrook, Gurnee, Glenview, Grayslake, Lake Zurich, Lake Forest, Buffalo Grove, Vernon Hills, Highland Park, Wilmette, Deerfield, Arlington Heights, and Wilmette. Contact our Lake County estate planning attorneys at (847) 325-5559 if you have questions about preventing a contested estate in Illinois.