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How to Prevent a Contested Estate in Illinois

 Posted on January 21, 2021 in Estate Planning


The time after a loved one’s passing is hard for all grieving family members, and it can be even more difficult when disputes arise over the decedent’s wishes or the validity of the will. As you prepare your estate plan, you should consider what you can do to prevent these disputes from happening after your death so that your family remains intact and well-provided for. The following tips will help prevent a contested estate.

Creating an Illinois Estate Plan to Minimize Disputes

Many contested estate disputes happen because family members are dissatisfied with how the terms of the will affect them, while others may be based more firmly on legal grounds. You should, of course, make sure that the terms of your estate plan reflect what you truly want, but there are also steps that you can take to help your family and beneficiaries understand your reasoning and show that you were of sound mind when making your decisions. These include:

  • Considering your family’s wants and needs. You may be able to prevent disputes simply by drafting your will in a way that accounts for the things that are most important to each of your beneficiaries. Consider which of your beneficiaries would be most in need of financial support after your death. If there are certain properties that are important to different family members, try to accommodate their desires when possible.
  • Discussing your estate with your family. The more open you can be with your family about your estate while you are alive, the less likely your will is to shock or upset them after your death. Regular conversations also give you the opportunity to address potential conflicts and can mitigate future claims that the will does not reflect your true wishes.
  • Keeping good records and following required procedures. Creating your will with the assistance of a qualified estate planning attorney can ensure that you follow proper protocol, maintain detailed documentation, and have reliable witnesses to your signings. This can help prevent contested probate on the grounds that the will was not lawfully created.
  • Choosing a trusted executor. Your executor can be a family member or close friend, or it can be an attorney or other professional. Choosing someone who your family members trust may help prevent claims of fraudulent execution or coercion at the time you created your will.

Contact a DuPage County Estate Planning Attorney

It is never too early to start focusing on estate planning and securing your family’s future. When you need a trusted advisor who can help you ensure that your will is valid and provides for all important beneficiaries, the attorneys at Stock, Carlson & Duff, LLC can help. Contact a Wheaton estate planning lawyer today at 630-665-2500.



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