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Can a non-relative contest your estate plan?

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2022 | Estate Planning |

As you make your estate plan, you may find yourself wondering if anyone is going to contest that plan. You know that a child may dispute your will if it turns out that you didn’t leave them any inheritance. They could claim that you forgot to include them in the will or that the will is a forgery, just to name a couple of examples.

But what about someone who is not a relative? Is there any way for someone else to contest your plan?

Would they gain from that challenge?

Generally, no one but your direct family members – such as your children – can expect to inherit anything from you. This is why they are the only ones who can contest your estate plan.

One way that a non-relative could contest your plan is if they would gain something through that challenge. For example, maybe you wrote a will leaving your best friend $100,000. Then the two of you had a falling out, and you remove them from the will. 

Depending on the circumstances, they may be able to contest this new will. Maybe they believe that your actual children created a fake will, removing them and therefore keeping the $100,000 for themselves. That non-relative gains significantly if they win their case, so they have a right to make this challenge.

However, random individuals who have nothing to gain and should not have expected to be in the will have no grounds to challenge it.

Creating a solid estate plan

As you make your estate plan, carefully consider the steps that you need to take to ensure that your wishes are upheld. An experienced eye can help you get your plans in order. 

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