Some of our readers in Nevada want to create an estate plan so that there will be little chance of a battle between heirs and beneficiaries after their death. However, in some estate planning situations, changes can be made to a will or trust that can lead to such court battles. When this happens, the competency of the person creating the plan can come into question.
When a person in Nevada begins estate planning, they often seek to detail all of the beneficiaries of an estate, which can include specific bequests to individuals and organizations. However, as time goes on, the individual creating the estate plan may seek to make changes to the documents that they originally created. These changes can be made by creating a modification of the existing documents or by replacing the prior estate plan with a new will or trust.
In one recent case that may be of interest to our readers, a 93-year-old woman made changes to her estate planning documents only months before her death. The changes that she made removed a number of the beneficiaries from her will and trust and added one individual. In fact, according to one report she changed her estate planning documents to leave all of her rather large estate to one individual. Reports indicate that a will contest is now likely.
Making changes to estate planning documents can lead to questions as to the mental capability of a person. These questions can include those that discuss whether or not a person was the victim of undue influence from another in making will or trust changes. Though not required, such questions may be avoided with communication between all parties prior to an individual’s death so that the person making the plan clearly expresses their specific wishes to all involved.
Source: SeacoastOnline.com, “Woman dies before battle of wills resolved,” Elizabeth Dinan, Dec. 14, 2012