LIVE REPLAY: Drafting Wills & Trust Documents to Reduce Risks of Challenge



  • Presentation Date 9/9/2024
  • Next Class Time 12:00 PM CT
  • Duration 60 min.
  • Format Teleseminar
  • MCLE Credits 1 hour(s)

Course Price: $79.00


A last will and testament is not always the final word of a testator. Wills frequently trigger long-suppressed family rivalries and resentments. With the testator no longer on the scene, children or other heirs are freed to express their resentments. These resentments often worsen when the will’s plan for allocating of money, valuable property or sentimental items is made known, leading to dispute and litigation. These disputes can be very time-consuming and costly resolve, sharply diminishing the value of an estate. This program will discuss grounds for will contests and practical steps lawyers and their clients can take to avoid challenge.


  • Spotting red flags in will contests – disinheriting close family members, unequal treatment of children, unusual behavior of testator & more
  • Sources of law in will contests – grounds for challenging wills
  • Practical steps to avoid will contests – will ceremonies, videotaped testaments, witness selection, affidavits
  • Use of In Terrorem provisions to prevent will contests
  • Issues surrounding holographic wills and other informal wills



Michael Kenny is counsel in the New York City office of Wiggin and Dana, LLP, where his practice focuses on commercial, probate, construction, and maritime litigation.  He has represented clients in domestic and international arbitrations, including proceedings before the American Arbitration Association and the International Centre for Dispute Resolution. His litigation and arbitration experience includes the preparation and trial of warranty claims and ship repair disputes.

Sean Vallencourt is a Litigation Associate in Wiggin and Dana’s New York office.  He represents businesses and individuals in a diverse array of disputes before federal and state courts, as well as alternative dispute resolution tribunals. Prior to joining Wiggin and Dana, Sean served as a law clerk to two federal district judges: Judge Neil V. Wake (District of Arizona) and Chief Judge Sara Darrow (Central District of Illinois). Prior to clerking, he practiced at Phillips Nizer LLP.