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Best Ways to Preemptively Avoid a Will Contest

While anyone can contest your will after you have passed away, there are several things you can do to prevent them from succeeding.


The first and best way to avoid a will contest is to establish a trust. This is the most common way to avoid probate and to make contesting a will difficult. An executed trust is a binding contract and thus much more difficult to contest.


Second, if you are concerned that a family member may question your testamentary capacity—that is, your mental ability to execute your will—you can request a letter from your doctor stating that you were “of sound mind” when the will was executed.  


Third, if you are considering disinheriting a family member, you might create difficulties for your Personal Representative. The validity of a will is often challenged by a disinherited child or spouse. Think carefully, and consult an estate attorney, before choosing to disinherit a problematic beneficiary.


Last, and most importantly, consult an estate attorney for guidance to ensure that your wishes are carried out after your death.


For a free, confidential conversation to discuss estate planning, contact Maryland estate attorney Stephen J. Reichert at 410-299-4959, or by emailing


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