Your home is probably your largest asset. It is something most of us want to transfer to your heirs quickly. However, without proper estate planning, your home could wind up in a contested estate.
The good news is there are several ways to prevent this from happening. Some of the most effective methods are detailed below. If you have contested estate questions get in touch with our estate planning attorneys in Lake County at Orlowsky & Wilson today.
A popular way to avoid your home from being in a contested estate is to set up a no-contest clause. This also is called an ‘in terrorem clause.’ It is a provision that can be put in the will that states if someone sues to challenge your estate plan, that person can be cut out of the will.
This could be a powerful method for a family member who thinks they are getting less money and property than they deserve. The thinking is the person can go ahead and contest the will. But if they lose the lawsuit, they receive nothing.
Not every state will enforce a no-contest clause, but they are enforced in Illinois. Talk to your Lake County estate planning attorney if you are interested in a no-contest clause in your will.
Some consider a revocable living trust to prevent a will contest involving property such as a house. However, the courts see a revocable living trust as a personal document and should be maintained in privacy. The document is ‘living’ and covers every part of your life, whether you are still living, well, or unwell.
It is wise to set up discretionary lifetime trusts for heirs who could contest the will. They are helpful for beneficiaries who will only spend their inheritance. In addition, a lifetime trust can encourage an heir to achieve financial goals.
An heir may contest a will. You can meet with a psychiatrist or psychologist to avoid the problem and do a competency evaluation report. But there is nothing better than a medical professional showing you were of sound mind when the will was written.
A video made when the will is signed can help prove that you signed the will by your own choice. It also can be an excellent way to explain your reasoning when you organized the will the way you did.
If a will dispute or contest over asset distribution happens, it is essential to seek prompt legal counsel to safeguard your interests. Further, you can use estate planning tools to reduce the chances of a will contest happening over your home. Orlowsky & Wilson has 30 years of experience in the field and can help you.
Orlowsky & Wilson offers comprehensive estate planning services for individuals, families, and private organizations in 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 lawyers at (847) 325-5559 if you need assistance.