Having your will contested should be avoided at all costs. When you’ve passed and your assets have no owner, however, your will is likely to get challenged by those closest to you. Anyone with a vested interest has a right to challenge your will in court. Since every will is examined within a local court, preparing yours for public rhetoric is necessary. California state law allows you to change your will in an effort to reorganize your estate and avoid later disputes.
Entering in new beneficiaries
Beneficiaries are those you assign to receive an estate or its specific assets. Will contests come when others learn that you’ve entered in new beneficiaries or haven’t named any at all. Your spouse, if you haven’t named them for example, can challenge your will for a more equitable disbursement of assets in their favor. Updating your beneficiaries today helps you to determine who ultimately gets what.
Adjusting after a divorce
A will might be inaccurate if it’s not adjusted for a divorce. Most assets you acquire in a marriage are ruled as common property; otherwise, some assets go directly to a single spouse. Updating your will is allowed because it can legally account for major events in your life. Here are, for example, some assets to revise after a divorce:
- Houses and other properties
- Joint investments
- Vehicles, horses, collectibles or equipment
- Addresses, marital status and beneficiaries
Making editorial changes
A will is a written document, being subject to potential revisions for clarity. Over time, you might see that your wording isn’t as effective as you once felt. Keep in mind that the variances do matter, for having a clear tone during a probate hearing can protect your wishes. Some estate owners edit their wills over their entire lifetimes to keep up with changes.
Now to avoid being contested
In estate planning, avoiding disputes strengthens an estate overall. You can ensure that your wishes are written out, but how things happen when you die might still be debatable. It takes time, strategy and planning to secure an estate transfer that works out smoothly.