Every family has at least one horror story of a death in a family turning into a protracted legal tragedy well documented publicly by a probate court. An angry heir dissatisfied with their share of inheritance or a disinherited family member desperately trying to claim a stake of the predeceased’s estate contests the will and alleges a whole manner of improprieties in order to invalidate the will or one of the bequests made under it. A testator considering a future will contest can take steps to protect his or her estate from challengers and minimize the negative effects that a challenge can have.
Destroy All Previously Revoked Wills
A common occurrence in the probate court is for someone who was to inherit under an older version of a testator’s will to present the revoked copy as the testator’s true and most recent will. This can only happen though if the testator does not take proper steps to discard and make it apparent that an older will is now revoked. Writing ‘void’ or ‘revoked’ on each page of an older will or physically destroying the will shows everyone that the will is no longer valid.