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Eye on your relatives: Nobody would challenge your will, right?

Here's an exercise you might reasonably wish to engage in as you're sitting comfortably in your favorite chair and making some notes regarding the ultimate administration of your estate.

To wit: Make a list of all the relatives and loved ones who you likely figure will be -- and perhaps will not be -- beneficiaries of your largesse once your will is opened and submitted for probate.

Consider each of them, in turn. Do you think it's possible that one or more people in your circle of life could end up being less than happy with the stated outcome of your estate plan and wish to legally challenge it?

Uh, brace yourself: That happens with some frequency in California and across the country, and increasingly so. Although you might reasonably assume it will not happen in your case, you might want to take timely steps that render you safe rather than subjecting your estate to problems down the road.

"People are living longer, and their lives are getting messier," says one estate planner, who makes that comment to underscore that the increased complexity of people's lives can easily introduce any number of factors that become problematic as regards estate planning.

Like second, third or even subsequent marriages. Like families becoming ever-more blended. Like assets piling up during years of life that have far exceeded actuarial expectations.

Such factors "can cloud who gets what" after a planner passes away, notes a recent article discussing strategies that an individual can take to safeguard a will against challenges.

Those strategies are multiple, and they certainly merit close discussion with a proven estate planning attorney well experienced in complex -- and sometimes contested -- estate administration.

Life can be complex and challenging, with that reality often being pronounced in the realm of estate planning. Seasoned legal counsel can materially assist clients from all walks of life who seek to craft sound and tailored plans that will withstand any future challenges.

That assistance, notes the above-cited media overview, centrally includes making a will "that's as bulletproof as possible."

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