Writing a last will and testament is always a difficult undertaking. If nothing else, it requires you to confront the fact that you won’t always be there for your loved ones, and you need to plan for what will happen to them when you are gone. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when you are writing your will, to ensure you don’t leave your loved ones with unnecessary problems. Continue reading “Writing a Last Will and Testament: Five Things to Consider”
While some people are pleased with the way a decedent allocated assets to his or her beneficiaries, others may not be. However, just because a person was not given what he or she felt they were entitled to, does not necessarily provide them with the grounds necessary to challenge a decedent’s will. An individual must determine whether challenging a decedent’s will is both valid and will succeed in the eyes of the law because the process is timely and expensive. It is worth mentioning that a decedent has a right to allocate his or her assets or other meaningful possessions to those of their choosing. This includes leaving assets or large sums of money to a charity or other institution. However, this does not preclude a beneficiary or heir from challenging the decedent’s will.
An in terrorem is a Latin word meaning “in fear”. It refers to a provision within a Decedent’s Will to disinherit a beneficiary if he or she challenges the Will in any way. Instead of a beneficiary receiving what he or she may have been entitled to within the Will, the individual will receive nothing, due to challenging the Will. He or she will essentially have forfeited any inheritance they were entitled to. This provision is intended to dissuade a person from contesting a Decedent’s Will. Further, an in terrorem provision is strictly construed by the courts.