Wills are designed to ensure that the wishes of the deceased are carried out. Courts attempt to do everything that they can to make sure that is the case. However, that does not guarantee that someone will attempt to challenge a Will and seek to have a portion of it overturned.
Estate planning attorneys have many ways to limit challenges to a Will. One of the more powerful ways is to use a no contest clause in the Will. This clause states that anyone who contests any portion of the Will is not allowed to inherit anything in the Will. It creates powerful disincentive for a potential Will challenge.
These clauses are not perfect. The Supreme Court of Nebraska recently ruled that they have no effect after the estate is settled in a rather complex case where co-inheritors were prohibited from seeking that property be partitioned, but a couple of them did so anyone.
The best way to make sure that your wishes are fulfilled is to seek the advice of an estate planning attorney. The attorney can use many different methods in combination to limit estate contests.
Duffy Law Office is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.