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3 times people benefit from adding a no-contest clause to a will

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2022 | Estate Planning

When someone dies in Nevada, the property that they own and the debts they still owe become their estate. Their estate plan will determine what happens with those belongings and debts.

Most states will go through probate with a few complications, but sometimes conflicts arise. Family members may turn on one another and fight bitterly over who receives what property from the estate. One family member might challenge the will and drag the whole family through probate court.

Not only do challenges strain family relationships, but they can also cost the estate thousands of dollars. There are many times, such as the three scenarios below, where those planning their estate plans will benefit from including a no-contest clause, which the Nevada probate courts typically uphold.

When their family members fight

Did you remarry in your forties, but your children never accepted your new spouse? They might try to challenge an estate plan that benefits their stepparent. On the other hand, siblings or grandchildren who are cousins could battle each other bitterly over the property you leave behind when you die. If there is a history of conflict within your family, then a no-contest clause could help.

When you leave an uneven inheritance or disinherit someone

If you have four children and want to leave your small business to only one of them, the other three might feel slighted because of that choice. They could challenge your wishes and do real damage to your legacy by claiming that your uneven inheritance was the byproduct of undue influence or even fraud.

Sometimes, it is one person unhappy with their inheritance who drags the whole estate through probate when they challenge the will. If you intend to disinherit someone, you can strengthen that decision by mentioning it in the will itself and then adding a no-contest clause that would impose the same penalty even if the challenge was successful.

When charities take priority over family inheritance

Few things might infuriate your extended family more than losing what they perceive as their right to inherit because you leave everything to a scholarship fund that you created or your favorite environmental charity.

Whether you want to leave the family farm to a historical preservation society or have your executor liquidate your assets and fund a scholarship for those pursuing the same degree you once received, members of your family may resent your charitable intentions and try to undermine your legacy by claiming that property for themselves.

Recognizing when your estate plan or family situation puts your estate at high risk of a challenge in probate court could minimize the risk of such a challenge actually occurring.