Anticipating Will Contests and How to Avoid Them

41 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2011 Last revised: 21 Sep 2012

See all articles by Gerry W. Beyer

Gerry W. Beyer

Texas Tech University School of Law

Date Written: September 2012


An estate planner must always be on guard when drafting instruments which may supply incentive for someone to contest a will. Anytime an individual would take more through intestacy or under a prior will, the potential for a will contest exists, especially if the estate is large. Although will contests are relatively rare, the prudent attorney must recognize situations which are likely to inspire a will contest and take steps during the drafting stage to reduce the probability of a will contest action and the chances of its success.

This article begins by discussing the situations where a will contest is more likely and then discusses a wide range of techniques which may be helpful in preventing will contests.

Keywords: wills, will contest, estate planning, ante-mortem probate, will execution ceremony, videorecording wills, no contest clauses, in terrorem clauses, witnesses

JEL Classification: K11

Suggested Citation

Beyer, Gerry W., Anticipating Will Contests and How to Avoid Them (September 2012). Available at SSRN: or

Gerry W. Beyer (Contact Author)

Texas Tech University School of Law ( email )

3311 18th Street
Lubbock, TX 79409-0004
United States
806-834-4270 (Phone)
978-285-7941 (Fax)


Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics