Writting a Will conceptually makes a person to think about how to allocate his wealth. It is also commonly thought that a Will can speed up the process of handling down the estates faster. Malpf actually teaches that Will is NOT the ONLY, NOR the Best solution in this regard. However, writting a Will is still one of the Easiest ways on this regard due to vast availability of market service providers and the direct implication of Will. ie. you don’t need to take a class to learn what a Will is for.
Also because it is easy to understand, many people may have some miss-conceptions on it too. Some may think once you have a Will, your estates are Guaranteed to be distributed in the way you planned for. At least that is what the estate planners market talk about. But in real life after you are dead, your ‘plan’ can still be challenged! Below shares a couple of common scenarios when a Will can be challenged with high success rate;
1. If your family members have reasons to believe that you didn’t have a clear mind (sound mind) or were forced (pressure or duress) into making a Will, they can appeal to disqualify your Will. Family members include those who are beneficiary and those who are not. So if you are setting up a Will in a hospital, it is best you get your doctor to be one of the Witness who can later certify your sanity at the time the Will is made.
2. If you didn’t allocate anything to your dependents especially spouse, single daugher, retard or ill child to take care of their daily living needs, your Will can be challenged. If you intend NOT to give ANYTHING, specify clearly your reasons in your Will. The reasons will be used by the judge to determine if the challenges will be accepted as a court case. There is NO simple full proof Reasons for this arrangement, you may need to prepare proof and get a proper lawyer to draft using sensitive terms but the challengers can still find better lawyers to find loop holes in your reasoning. If you can have an apparent reason, that is good. Else just allocate Simple Living Needs to them. Challenging un-adequote is harder than leaving nothing to them.
Other than challenging your Will, one can also raise a dispute by claiming your Will is NOT the latest Will. Since each New Will Voids all Old Wills, authentication checks will be performed upon the so called ‘New’ Will.
A will written by under age 18 automatically invalid the Will.
If the witness did not actually see the Will being signed, invalid! (attestation clause)
Challenges will NOT void your Will automatically. When someone raises an issue on your Will, the judge will need to consider it. So your Will may still get executed eventually anyway but it is almost certain that the process will be delay.
My left over for my Legacy …