Specific topics in life, like death, aren’t easy to talk about. While death and estate planning aren’t easy to discuss, you still might want to let your loved ones know of your intentions prior to your passing.
Suppose you made recent changes to your will with good intentions and clear judgment. Still, uninformed family members might be able to challenge your wishes after your death. In Washington, a will can be contested.
Grounds for challenging a will
In Washington, “any person interested” may challenge a will. This means that any person who thinks they might have had a right to be in a will can question it under certain circumstances. Once the will is called into question, it comes under scrutiny for whether:
- The deceased had the proper mental capacity
- The deceased understood the will
- The deceased was influenced unduly
- Forgery or fraud
- Mistakes in drafting the will
Once the will is under contest, there is a burden of proof, of course. Still, you may not want your last wishes to be debated after you’re gone. Talking about your will before death lets those you love know that you intended what was meant.
Of course, this might be a difficult conversation and one that you might not want folks to gather around the table to have. Tell a few trusted individuals. The more you make your wishes known, the more solid your estate planning gets.
Be proactive in planning
Don’t leave your last wishes up to the desires of others. If you know what you want to happen after you’re gone, communicate with people who are important to you. You can always seek professional help for estate planning and make a legally binding will.