Which family members are most apt to contest your will?

On Behalf of | May 22, 2019 | Estate Administration |

It can be beneficial for testators, or for those drafting a will, to communicate with their heirs in advance of their passing. By doing so, they can let them know what their final wishes are. This seldom happens though. Many of them let their preferences be known only after their executor files their will with a New Jersey probate court. This often results in hurt feelings and contested wills.

Quarreling siblings

Parents often fail to take into account the emotional, financial and psychological circumstances of their children when crafting an estate plan or setting up a trust. If they inequitably distribute their assets to their heirs in their will, then it’s likely that this will result in infighting between their kids.

One way to avoid there being any sibling rivalry and contested wills is for all kids to be left an equal share of the estate. If a child is going to receive a smaller portion of the estate or be disinherited, then a testator should draft a letter of intention spelling out why. They should include a clause in their will that states that they will lose a percentage of what was left to them if they file suit as well.


It can be dicey planning your estate if you have children from your first marriage and then a husband or wife and their kids as well. Drafting a letter of intent is one important step to take, especially if you plan to leave behind sentimental or financial assets to one set of kids but not the other.

If you or your family is of means, then you may want to set up a trust or a family foundation. You may set it up where the responsibilities of your heirs increase as they age. Setting up an entity such as this may bring your loved ones together around a common cause and teach them the importance of making an impact on this world. Blended families in Bridgewater often fight over assets in probate court when testators don’t do this.

Many testators appreciate knowing that their family will learn of their final wishes only once they’re gone. Others want their heirs to understand their choices and their goal to leave a lasting impact on this world. An estate administration attorney can help you draft your will so that you minimize the potential that it’s challenged once you’re gone.

FindLaw Network

RSS Feed