Burlington estate planning attorneys at Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC can provide help if you are creating an estate plan. One of the services that we can provide to you is in creating a last will and testament and in taking steps to reduce the chances that your will could end up being contested after you have passed on. If you are concerned about the possibility that your will could be contested, we can also help you to explore alternatives for passing on your property, such as the creation of a trust, as many of these alternatives provide a reduced chance of your wishes being challenged or eliminating the challenge altogether.
It is important to talk with Burlington estate planning attorneys for many different reasons, but avoiding a will contest is one of the biggest reasons for getting the proper legal help as you make your estate plan. There are many reasons why you do not want your will to be contested, including the following five top reasons why a will contest is definitely something that you want to try to avoid.
Your Wishes May Not be Respected
If your will is contested successfully, then the court could decide your will cannot be probated. This would mean that the instructions which you provided in your last will and testament would not be followed. Instead of your instructions being followed to dictate what happens to the wealth that you have worked so hard to build, default intestacy law would apply instead. This could mean that you don’t get the chance to determine what happens to your money and to your property.
Your Assets Could be Reduced in Value
When a will is contested, the executor of an estate – who has a fiduciary duty to you – will need to defend the will. The estate is going to have to pay for the costs associated with defending your last will and testament. The value of the estate could be significantly reduced as money is spent dealing with the will being contested.
The Probate Process Could Take Much Longer
If a will is contested, the probate process will take much longer in most cases than it would have if everything had gone smoothly during the probate process. This means that the process is not only going to cost more, but there will be a longer period of time before new owners take control over the assets you have left behind. Although the executor of an estate is in charge of managing estate assets until they transfer to new owners, the executor of the will may not be as good at managing assets as the new owners would be. A long period of uncertainty could also cause loss even if the executor does a good job, especially if you are passing on a business and normal operations are interrupted due to the wait for the new owner to take over.
Your Heirs or Beneficiaries Could Take a Long Time to Inherit
Your loved ones may be counting on an inheritance from your estate, especially if you were a primary breadwinner or had family members depending upon the income you were bringing in before you passed away. If there is a will contest and the probate process takes a long time, your loved ones could be in a very difficult financial position as they wait a long time for their inheritance to be received.
Your Family Could End up Fighting Over Your Wealth
Your loved ones could end up fighting if your will is contested. This could lead to the breakdown of family bonds. You do not want to be responsible, even indirectly, for your children having a falling out with each other or for any of your family members fighting over your assets and being unable to move past the arguments to stay close.
Getting Help from Burlington Estate Planning Attorneys
Burlington estate planning attorneys at Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC are here to provide you with personalized help creating a last will and testament that has the minimum possible chance of being contested. We can also assist you with finding estate planning solutions that can eliminate the possibility of your wishes being challenged so you can protect the legacy that you want to leave.
To find out more about how we can help you with the creation of a legacy plan that will give you the chance to protect your assets and your loved ones, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at (802) 879-7133 or contact us online today for personalized help.