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When a poorly drafted estate plan leads to a will contest

Previous posts here have mentioned the importance of making sure that an estate plan is carefully crafted and comprehensive. But, why is that so important? Well, one of the primary reasons is that a poorly drafted estate plan could lead to a will contest in probate court - something most people want to avoid.

Fortunately, not just anyone can challenge the validity of a will. In most cases, the only people who can challenge the validity of the will are those who are - or would be - impacted by the terms of the will or state intestacy laws. This includes heirs and beneficiaries, or other relatives who believe that they might have received benefits from the estate if the will was found to be invalid.

Of course, in many cases even poorly drafted estate plans will be enforced simply because family members and friends want to see the deceased person's desire met, even if the result isn't what they thought it would be. Some might say that even a poorly drafted estate plan is better than no estate plan, but that isn't the best course of action.

New Jersey residents should make sure that their estate plans are as detailed as possible if they want to avoid the possibility of probate litigation. Estate planning can be complicated, but seeing as the distribution of an estate can make a huge difference in many people's lives, facing the complications with a comprehensive estate plan is usually worth the time and effort for New Jersey residents.

Source: FindLaw, "Who Can Challenge a Will?," Accessed April 23, 2017

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