Protecting an estate plan from legal challenges

On Behalf of | Dec 21, 2018 | Estate Planning

There may be times in which a Nevada estate owner wants to disinherit a family member. While disinheriting is possible, the process should be done with the assistance of a professional. Otherwise, the disinherited person may be able to challenge the move and have it overturned. Generally speaking, it is easier to disinherit someone using a trust instead of a will. This is partially because the trust is a private document whereas a will is made public.

Furthermore, only the beneficiaries of a trust will have legal standing to challenge it. Trusts may also be harder to challenge because they tend to be written many years before a person dies. This means that it’s less likely that the will creator wrote it while incapacitated or vulnerable to other forms of undue influence. To further reduce the possibility of a legal challenge, a no-contest clause may be added to the trust.

This means that anyone who challenges it will get nothing. Adding such a clause can be ideal in situations when one child gets less than his or her siblings. Although courts may question whether a clause necessary to include in a trust, it generally adds a deterrent to those who might otherwise try to change the trust’s terms.

The use of a living trust could make it easier for a person to accomplish estate planning goals. Ideally, an individual will work with an attorney to either create or review the trust. This could help the estate owner avoid errors that may lead to successful legal challenges in the future. An attorney might also provide insight into other tools that may be available to create a thorough and comprehensive estate plan.