Torzewski & McInerney, LLC

Morris County Estate Planning And Litigation Lawyers

Schedule A Consultation

Personal Attention And A Professional Approach

Home » Estate Planning » Steps to prevent your will from being contested in New Jersey

Creating a will is an important part of managing your estate, but sometimes another party may decide to contest the will.

There are steps you can take to help ensure your will stands firm against challenges in New Jersey.

Ensure the will is properly executed

Execute your will according to New Jersey laws. This includes signing your will in the presence of two witnesses, who also need to sign it. Taking this step seriously helps confirm the validity of the will if someone should challenge it.

Use a no-contest clause

Consider including a no-contest clause in your will. This clause can discourage beneficiaries from disputing your will. If someone challenges the will and loses, they risk losing their inheritance altogether.

Keep your will updated

Life changes such as marriages, divorces and the birth of children can affect your will. Keep your document updated to reflect your current wishes and family situation. An up-to-date will reduces the chances of disputes among your heirs.

Clarify your decisions

If you plan to leave unequal shares to your heirs or exclude someone who might expect to inherit, clearly explain your reasons in the will. You may also want to meet with your family members and explain your reasons for the distribution of your assets. This can help reduce misunderstandings and potential conflicts after your passing.

Get a doctor’s note

If there might be any question about your mental capacity at the time you sign your will, consider getting a doctor’s note that confirms your mental fitness. This can be a strong defense against claims that you were not in a sound state of mind when making your will.

Consider a trust

Sometimes, setting up a trust can be a better option than a will. Trusts often face fewer contests because they are not automatically part of the public record, like wills are. They also provide more control over when and how to distribute your assets.

Consult with an estate planning attorney

An estate planning attorney can provide valuable advice on crafting a will that meets all legal requirements and addresses potential areas of contention.

By taking these steps, you can help ensure that your wishes are respected and that your will stands up against potential contests. Proper planning not only protects your assets but also provides peace of mind to you and your loved ones.