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Alterations and challenges to will can create issues

One of the great misunderstandings about estate plans is that people think an estate plan is a single document, a self-contained contract that outlines everything and anything relating to an individual's estate. To the contrary, estate plans are made up of many different documents, provisions and contracts -- and one of these documents is the will.

It's tough to call one document more important than another, but the will is certainly one of the, if not the, most important documents contained within an estate plan. As such, it is critical that the individual drafts a concrete and well-composed will so that his or her nest egg can be passed on to his or her family with as little turmoil and internal strife as possible.

As you can imagine, this makes revoking, changing or challenging a will (depending on which party you are in the estate plan process) a major, and complicated, part of an estate. If the individual whose estate is in question decides to revoke or change his or her will, he or she will need to complete another will in a timely and efficient manner. It is also possible that the changes that are made could upset your heirs, which could lead to a challenge of the will.

This can happen for a variety of reasons, most notably because some other party unduly influenced the decision making of the individual who crafted the will. Fraud and an incapacitated individual are two other major reasons why a will may be challenged.

Source: FindLaw, "Revoking, Challenging or Changing a Will," Accessed July 8, 2015

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