Today, I received a phone call from a potential will contests opponent on one of my clients. Unfortunately, for this unhappy beneficiary, she had six (6) months to bring a will contest from the date the will was admitted into probate court. Thus, it has been 6 months and 2 weeks and therefore, a will contest will not win.
A way to avoid will contests is to avoid doing a will. Earlier today, I spoke with a prospect from the State of Washington regarding wills and trusts. This particular prospect has seven (7) children and one of the children is constantly in litigation with her and her husband. I suspect that this client is fighting a former spouse over child support or other issues. For this family and many others, a will is an absolute no-no. It is a bad idea because one of the siblings will fight any will and end up costs the estate thousands of dollars in legal fees and costs. Wills encourage will contests because estate attorneys must mail out notices to all potential heirs even if they are not inheriting assets. Thus, the disinherited heirs get disgruntled and have no economic incentive not to challenge the will. In contrasts, a revocable living trust is a private document and is more likely to avoid litigation. With a revocable living trust, no attorney in their right mind would ever mail out any notice to anybody that does not inherit. This would be the poster child for stupidity. Sorry today because I obviously have jokes today.
Therefore, if you want a will contests, hire an attorney or do your will on legalzoom.com. If you want a smooth transition upon your death or incapacity, hire an estate planning attorney.
Sean Robertson is Principal and Founder of Robertson Law Group, LLC. We are estate and asset protection attorneys that concentrate in helping seniors, business owners, and middle class families. We are down to earth and have the ability to travel to you if you have mobility issues. We can be reached at 312-498-6080 or 630-364-2318.