A will is one of the most important legal documents you can create. By drafting and signing a will, you are not only taking control of your legacy but you are also potentially safeguarding your loved ones’ futures.
But your will can also become the subject of costly legal battles. Obviously, the last thing you want is for someone to step forward and dispute your will. Besides prolonging the probate process, this scenario can also inspire lasting strife amongst your loved ones. And while you cannot, with certainty, prevent someone from contesting your will (especially when you are gone), you can take certain steps to minimize the possibility of this happening.
These are two simple steps you can take to protect your will from costly disputes.
Follow the law
Most will disputes have something to do with the document’s validity. For your will to be considered valid and, thus, enforceable in California, it must meet certain legal requirements. First, you must be at least 18 at the time of signing the document. Second, you must have the testamentary capacity to sign the will. Third, your will must be witnessed by at least two non-interested parties. A will that does not meet these crucial legal requirements can easily be disputed and invalidated.
Ambiguities will only expose your will to the risk of contestation. It is important that you avoid the use of vague language in your will. The last thing you want is to have your heirs guess what you could have meant in your will, especially when you are no longer around to clarify or respond to their concerns.
Safeguarding your interests
A will is the cornerstone of your estate plan. Seeking legal guidance to learn more about California wills laws can help you avoid costly pitfalls that can leave your will vulnerable to a protracted legal battle.