Recognizing and Avoiding a Will Contest

July 2009 The CPA Journal

Will contests have the potential to permanently alter family relationships as well as take a large financial toll on all parties involved. The responsibility to recognize a potential will contest while the testator is still alive and take steps to avoid it falls on the professional advisor. In his article "Recognizing and Avoiding a Will Contest," published in The CPA Journal, Steven Levitt outlines five legal issues that all professional advisors should be aware of in order to recognize and stave off a will contest. Among those factors are ensuring that the testator is not under any undue influence, including any confidential relationships with beneficiaries, and knowing that counsel fees for either party in a contest may be paid from the estate if it is determined that the contestant had reasonable cause to challenge the will.

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