How to reduce the probability of a will contest, P.2

In our previous post, we began looking at various strategies and approaches to estate planning that will help reduce the likelihood of a will contest later on down the road. As we noted, will contests typically involve disgruntled family members or close friends who feel they've the testator's will treats them unjustly or inequitably.

We left off discussing "no-contest" clauses, and noted that-while they can reduce the possibility of a will contest-they can be declared void in at least one situation. Under Georgia law, such provisions must provide for the disposition of the property in the event that the conditions for forfeiture are fulfilled. Of course, knowing this ahead of time allows one to do the proper planning.

One approach that can really do a lot to help prevent a will contest is to communicate with one's family about the reasons the will says what it says. For many families, even those with a moderate degree of conflict, this can go a long way in calming the confusion and anger that is at the root of so many will contests.

One should be careful about over-communicating one's plans, particularly before they are set down in the will. To remove the appearance of undue influence, the testator does well to draft the will independently and without input from the family, especially any family members providing caretaking services. That said, communicating about one's decisions after they are made can be very helpful in helping family members begin to accept those decisions.

Another approach to the will contest issue is to look into a trust-based estate plan and make use of lifetime gifting to achieve one's intentions.

The possibility of a will contest, like any concern in estate planning, should be thoroughly communicated to one's estate planning attorney. Once these concerns are on the table, options can be explored for addressing them in the best way possible.


Forbes, "Did Artist Thomas Kinkade Change His Will While Drunk?," Danielle and Andy Mayoras, July 9, 2012

Forbes, "How to Prevent a Will Contest," Bernard A. Krooks, May 10, 2012

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Mr. Teiger, Thank you very much for your time and results. I will definitely recommend you & your firm to anyone who wants to be treated professionally courteously and needs results.Hope all is well.Again...thank you. Regards, Paul L.

msg iconEmail Us For a Response

When you have legal questions or concerns, contact our team at Teiger Law Center, P.C., by calling 678-374-7645, 800-780-2275 or reach us via email by completing our online contact form. From our Cumming and Alpharetta law offices, we represent clients in the Atlanta metro and throughout north Georgia.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Cumming Office
514 West Maple Street
Suite 101
Cumming, GA 30040

Toll Free: 866-726-2153
Phone: 678-374-7645
Fax: 770-406-8858
Cumming Law Office Map

Alpharetta Office
12600 Deerfield Parkway, Suite 100
Alpharetta, GA 30004

Toll Free: 800-780-2275
Phone: 678-374-7645
Fax: 770-406-8858
Map & Directions