What do you expect could throw your will into dispute? Your insurance money? Your other assets? The way that you chose to distribute the household goods?
How about who you pick as guardian for your children?
You may believe that you have chosen the perfect guardian for your children if something happens to you, but will all of your family members agree? It isn’t unusual for family members to criticize the choice of a guardian as too young, too old, too busy or too something to be an appropriate guardian for the kids. Sometimes those criticisms boil over and a family member will take the issue to court in protest.
Other times, people aren’t motivated quite so altruistically — especially if you’re leaving a substantial amount of money to be managed on behalf of the children. Unfortunately, some of your family members may see “taking care of the kids” as a financially-profitable opportunity for themselves.
Finally, some of your relatives may simply contest your choice because they treat the decision over who should raise the children almost like a popularity contest. In their insecurity over the future, they see a decision in favor of someone else as the best guardian as a decision that’s somehow against them.
Many people don’t realize just how emotional the reaction to their decision may be. Therefore, they don’t prepare their estate for a legal battle over guardianship. How do you do that? Experts say that the best thing to do is to provide your estate administrator with a letter that specifically addresses other potential choices for guardian and explains exactly why they weren’t chosen.
The letter can be notarized and kept with your other estate documents and only brought out if there’s legal action taken to contest the will. That way, you’ll be providing the court with insight into your thoughts and assuring the court that you considered every angle.