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Will Contests

Especially when dealing with heirs who have been intentionally left out of a Will or a Family Trust, the threat of a legal contest is common.

Every client at Peters Patchin & Monaghan receives individual attention to the unique details of their family relations, assets, and other circumstances. Estate planning partners, Ben Monaghan and Daniel Patchin, have a wealth of experience in Wills, Trusts, and Probate matters since that is all that they do. Our firm has just the tools needed to craft your estate plan that will provide for those you love in your absence.

An Idaho Will contest is simply a legal challenge by an heir who was omitted under a Will or Trust. If the contest is successful, then that heir will receive a share of the deceased person’s estate even though the Will or Trust intentionally omitted him or her as an heir.

Avoiding a Will Contest

Although there is no iron-clad way to keep a Will or Family Trust contest from being filed, there are ways to cut down on the possibility of such a battle.

First, you can include a no-contest provision in your Last Will or Family Trust which states that anyone who tries to have the document nullified in court is not to inherit any of your property.

Second, you can include a general disinheritance provision which states that you intentionally left out all of those persons that you did not name as a beneficiary in your Will or Family Trust.

Third, you can be even more explicit and name the person or persons you want to be sure don’t end up receiving a part of your estate. Although such a step should be considered drastic, if you have a strong expectation that one of your “natural” heirs may be tempted to engage in such a battle, it may be necessary to take this additional precaution.

Finally, for clients who are elderly or whose memories are weakening, we occasionally recommend that they have a visit with their physician to have a “memory test” done to document that they have the mental capacity to make decisions such as those reflected in their Idaho Will or Family Trust.

In reality, an Idaho court will be unlikely to overturn a Will or Family Trust unless there is strong evidence that:

  • The person who signed the document had been medically determined to be incompetent by the time the document was executed;
  • The person was deceived about something and that deception led to the changing of the Will or Family Trust; or
  • The person was coerced or enticed (by either a threat or a promised reward) into changing the terms of the Will or Living Trust.
The Solution

If you would like to learn more, please give us a call at 208-939-2600 to schedule your free initial consultation. Or you can schedule your expedited appointment at your convenience by clicking on either of the gold “Schedule Now” boxes on our Home Page.

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