Validate Your Will and Eliminate Challenges
Although only a handful of states currently acknowledge the “living probate process”, or “ante-mortem probate” (Latin for “pre-death”), if you have concerns about someone challenging your will after you are gone, you can actually have our attorneys draw up a Conservatorship or a Guardianship for your Will.
The “Living Probate Process” allows you to have your Will validated while you are of sound mind and are handling your own affairs; this eliminates any questions of undue influence and makes it more difficult for disgruntled family members to try to invalidate the Will.
In most states, you cannot have a will validated ante-mortem. As an alternative, Conservatorships and Guardianships can be set up to enable families to forego going to court to request the appointment of a guardian or conservator when you are no longer able to handle your own affairs. With Conservatorships and Guardianships, you name the conservator or guardian and they can immediately begin handling your affairs once you are incapacitated. They can handle your finances, medical care according to your wishes, and even your accommodations.
Should you validate your will?
If you firmly believe there are members within your family who would challenge your Will after you die, validating your Will while you are alive is an excellent option. With many people remarrying, the potential for family members challenging your Will once you’re gone exponentially increases.
However, you can minimize the potential for this type of confrontation by letting your heirs know how you plan to divvy up your assets; most family members will be respectful and honor your wishes if they know in advance. Videotaping the signing is a good way to validate your mental state as well.
If you don’t validate your will, anyone who has a bona fide vested interest in any part of your estate can challenge your Will; they may even be successful in overturning it, or at the very least, costing the estate time and money.
Petitioning the Court
In order to validate your Will either through the ante-mortem probate process, Guardianship or Conservatorship, the attorneys at the Slaughter Law Firm can help with all the proper steps.
If you can petition the court, once the court schedules a hearing, people who stand to inherit from you (your heirs) are invited; depending on where you live, a public notice may need to be posted as well.
In order to validate the will, the court will look to see if your Will meets all the criteria. Your Slaughter Law Firm attorney will guide you on the specifics.
The court will examine the following:
- Proper execution of the will
- Mental state and soundness of mind
- Absence of undue influence
The court will then issue a ruling as to the validity of your Will.
Revoking a validated Will
If you decide to revoke a validated Will, be sure to revoke any versions filed with the courts to eliminate challenges as to the final version.
The highly-skilled attorneys at The Slaughter Law Firm will review your needs and concerns and will help you plan your estate to ensure your final wishes will be executed as you intend.