If you fear that a family member may challenge your wishes and file a will contest, have our San Diego estate planning attorney include a “no contest clause” in your will. The no contest clause prevents most potential will contests.
While Grace had no legal requirement to include all three of her sons in her will, she wanted to. But, she had concerns that son, Michael, an alcoholic, would be angry. In her will, she provided a smaller sum to him (she had already given him significant assets during her lifetime) and that a trustee would be in charge of financial distributions to Michael.
When Grace consulted with our San Diego estate planning attorney, he explained that will contests are not that common, but do happen, especially if a family member is estranged or has a drug, alcohol, or gambling addiction.
To avoid a will contest by Michael, our San Diego estate planning attorney recommended including a no contest clause in Grace’s will. A no contest clause states that if any beneficiary challenges the validity of the will, he or she will receive nothing and the challenger will have to pay his own attorney. In other words, any gift to a beneficiary, who challenges the will, fails.
So upon Grace’s death, if Michael challenges her will, he will receive nothing. The no contest clause is strong motivation for honoring Grace’s wishes and she now has peace of mind, knowing that her wishes will be honored.
If you have concerns about a will challenge or a will contest, consult with our San Diego estate planning attorney about including a no contest clause in your will.