A recent case out of Nebraska highlights the reason that it is a bad idea to rely on one single method to make sure that your wishes are carried out after you pass away. The case involves a long-settled estate and a Will that had a no contest clause to prevent any challenges to the Will.
The testator left real property to his children in a joint life estate. The last surviving child was to receive the remainder of the property. The Will stated specifically that the children were prohibited from seeking a partition of the property. However, two of the children later did seek to have the property partitioned. Even though that effort was denied, two other children sought to enforce the no contest clause against the children who sought partition. The Nebraska Supreme Court has denied that and ruled that a no contest clause has not effect after an estate is settled.
There may have been other ways the deceased could have made sure that the children did not seek a partition later. It depends on other facts in the estate that are not known. Ask an estate planning attorney about what your options are for making sure your Will is not contested.
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