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Can you add a no-contest clause to your Arizona will?

On Behalf of | Jun 27, 2022 | Estate Planning and Wills

The goal of creating an estate plan is to maintain control over your care as you age and your property after you die. Whether you have a will or a trust, you likely spent a significant amount of time deciding the best way to divide your property among your loved ones. You want to leave a meaningful legacy while minimizing the complications for your executor and the disputes among your beneficiaries.

Unfortunately, all of your hard work could come to naught if your family members challenge your estate plan and drag your estate through probate court. Just one unhappy family member can diminish what everyone else receives through an unfounded challenge.

Can you add a no-contest clause to a will or a trust while estate planning in Arizona?

Arizona courts do enforce no-contest clauses

As you can likely infer from the name, a no-contest clause is a special clause included in a will or trust that creates a penalty if someone challenges the estate in probate court. Frequently, a no-contest clause will disinherit family members and beneficiaries who challenge someone’s testamentary documents or trust in probate court.

Although there are situations in which the courts would not uphold that clause, if someone brings a frivolous lawsuit against your estate, the chances are good that they would lose their right to an inheritance. A no-contest clause can reduce challenges against your estate and minimize conflict among your family members after you die.

Adding the right terms to your estate plan will help you preserve not just your intended legacy but the close relationships within your family.