Anticipating a Contest

Bill is elderly and widowed. He has two children, Mike and Carl. Bill wants to create a revocable trust through which he will leave all his assets to Mike. Bill tells Mike to call an attorney to ‘arrange it.’
If Mike complies and if the attorney who is brought in also complies, Mike’s involvement in arranging for the creation of the documents could be used by Carl (after Bill’s death and as part of a contest of the trust)as evidence that Mike unduly influenced Bill. Mike would be better off telling Bill to contact the estate planning attorney.
Further, Bill should bring neutral witnesses with him to the attorney’s office to document that Bill understood and desired the documents that he was signing. The estate planning attorney could  document Bill’s intent by having Bill provide a hand-written explanation of why he was leaving his assets to Mike and of why he was not leaving anything to Carl.
A geriatric psychiatrist could also be hired by Bill to evaluate Bill’s cognitive abilities and to create a written report of the results. 


About randyspiro

I am a super lawyer in California with dual specialization in Estate Planning and Taxation.
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